The world of fashion is a very lucrative sector, with the global clothing and textile market (clothing, textiles, footwear and luxury goods) valued at almost $2,560 trillion back in 2010. Given the extent of the sector, it incurs a large carbon footprint, therefore it’s important that we recognise when the industry makes positive strides in terms of recycling, waste management, and protecting the environment.
On a simplistic level, recycling is the easiest way for the fashion and clothing industry to reduce its impact on the environment. You may be asking, how can I recycle clothes? The ‘Love Your Clothes’ campaign from Recycle Now has been a key driver in encouraging people to consider how they dispose of clothes and an important resource when it comes to the personal recycling of unwanted clothes.
The smaller scale recycling and proper waste management processes are a positive step, but for widespread, more meaningful change, it’s time for big brand names in the world of fashion to take more appropriate action with regards to their impact on the environment. Smaller brands are creating biodegradable fabrics, compostable jeans and drastically altering their production process, but can big brands also be sustainable?
One household name already making strong progress is H&M. Their sustainability and environmentally conscious ethos is proof that success and profits don’t have to cost the earth. Their aim is for all of the cotton in their range to come from more sustainable sources by 2020.
Some of these solutions can be slightly bizarre, but innovation is an important step when looking to make meaningful change. Here at 707, we’re big fans of fashion designer and TED Senior Fellow, Suzanne Lee – she’s working on a project where she ‘grows her own clothes’ out of vegetable leather, fermented tea and kombucha. Elsewhere, American high-tech sports clothing company Virus uses recycled coffee beans for their Stay Warm line of cold-weather performance apparel.
Managing and disposing of business waste correctly is quite rightly a high priority for our industry, but we often forget that industrial bodies such as the world of fashion covers a broad spectrum of design, manufacturing and production. We need to make sure we take positive steps across the entire supply chain towards reducing the environmental impact of our outfits!
Have you spotted an innovative and unique approach from an industry to reduce their environmental footprint? Share your weird and wonderful waste management solutions with us via Twitter or the comment section below. For a free quote on your own business waste, do not hesitate to contact us.