This year sees Recycle Week take on the theme of ‘Stepping It Up’ and with that in mind we ask the question how can the textile industry really ‘Step It Up’?
There has never been a more important time to step up our game in trying to transform the world and environment. The fashion industry has faced many challenges over the past five years with questions around the sustainability of many of our favourite brands being the biggest.
According to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit:
‘It is predicted that by the year 2030, the fashion industry will increase its water consumption by 50 percent, it’s carbon footprint will increase to 2,790 million tons and fashion waste will hit 148 million tons‘.
Change is possible in every area of the world and despite all the overwhelming facts that surround the fashion industry, it is possible to create an industry that is more environmentally friendly. In fact, the positive news is that there is a rise in brands who are already running sustainable businesses and they are a clear example of how the whole industry can look one day.
So what can we do today, here and now to make the textile industry greener? Here are 4 examples.
A custom order refers to an item being produced to the customer’s specific requirements. A custom order means brands tend to not over order on materials and stock, cutting down waste and ultimately helping to address all the issues that come with these orders, such as water usage and greenhouse gases, etc.
They are not only better for the environment but custom orders are a great marketing tool in the 21st century. Customers are attracted to items that they feel connects to them and are great to grow a customer base of people that will recommend you and your product.
Buy Garments Made From Single Material
A lot of garments are currently made with a blend of fabrics, however, this makes it harder for them to break down at the end of their lifespan. We must ensure we are trying to future-proof our clothing and the best way to do this is to make garments that are only one material. These garments will be fully recyclable and often last longer in our wardrobes.
Ensure Your Old Clothing Continues To Live On
With that in mind, ensuring your clothing can live on whether that be through you repairing it or you passing it on to a charity shop or a friend/family member is hugely important. The more work we can do to ensure your unwanted items get a new home, the more likely is we will cut down the damage to our environment.
There are now 574 landfill sites in the UK, all of which produce toxic greenhouse gases. By ensuring our unwanted items don’t go to landfill we can help slow down the cycle of landfill damage.
Being transparent with consumers is a simple yet important part of owning a business. Fashion brands must be transparent when it comes to the ethics of their brand, how their garments are produced, what are the staff’s working conditions like, how much do workers get paid etc, the list goes on.
Allowing consumers an insight into your business shows trust and honestly and the idea of losing customers because you’ve given them too much information, is no longer true because if you don’t tell them someone else on the internet will do. By being transparent you are allowing customers to make informed decisions about their fashion purchases, something we all should be doing at this stage in the climate crisis.