The fashion industry is swinging on its full pace. Since clothing is a vital part of human’s life and became the eighth largest segment in day-to-day household spending. The big players are constantly launching new and stylish trends with highly competitive prices. Although it sounds good to follow the fast paced fashion trends with comparatively cheap prices. But it is creating a sheer load on our environment in shape of textile waste. The clothing consumption has significantly increased for last 03 decades. And according to Greenpeace study, today we buy 60% more clothing than we did 15 years ago. The fast fashion trend and our crazy buying behavior are polluting our environment desperately. Unfortunately, the fashion industry was estimated the second largest waste producer after Oil and Gas.
According to “The Atlantic”, the average North American consumer buys 64 items of clothes per anum. It means, an average consumer buys 1.2 garments per weak. And he/she creates 82 pounds of unwanted clothes per anum for the environment. On the other hand, as per Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs data, it is estimated that 1,130,000 tons of clothing was purchased in UK in 2016. And this was almost 180,000 tons higher than year 2012. And as per the research findings, the average clothing life in UK is around 3.3 years. Whereas, the other research shows that it is only 2.2 years and then it discarded or donated. For the last ten years, the turnover of waste clothes in UK has been significantly increased.
Brands Efforts Toward Waste Clothes:
Since the contribution of fashion industry towards environment pollution is increasing day by day. So, the joint efforts are being carried out by the big players to sustain the environment. The below you will see the story of some brands from the them:
The big chain H&M launched its Conscious Collection which is made with recycled material. Not only this, the Garment Collection (Year-2013) range was also made with recycled material. As per company’s announcement, you can drop your old clothes/home textiles of any brand to our local store. We will recycle it and give it new life. Up-till now, the company claimed that they have collected 32000 tons waste garments to give them a new life. Moreover in 2017, H&M offered $5.8 million to Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel to develop such chemical technology which recycle blended textile.
The famous retailer Sainsbury in collaboration with Oxfam, trying to urges its customers to donate unwanted clothes to its collection points. But as of now, the overall result regarding donation is not as good as expected. As per UK research findings, around 49% respondents don’t donate clothes because they are worn out or dirty. Whereas, 16% respondents don’t have enough time to sort out old clothes or visit collection center for donation. And 6% respondents don’t know this thing that the clothes can be recycled.
Levi & Strauss:
The same thing Levi’s did in 2016, it has partnered with EVRNU and created first sustainable jeans. This jean was made with 05 discarded T-shirt’s renewed fiber. And this “511” jeans was not only use waste clothes but also use 98% less water than virgin cotton products.
The Spanish brand Inditex is teaming up with Lenzing for its 2016-2020 environment strategy plan. The Lenzing recycles its off cuts into cotton Lyocell mix. This project will start with 500 tons of textile waste and with an aim to uplift it around 3000 tons within few years. As per company’s statement, they will provide enough fabric to Lenzing to produce 48 million garments. Moreover, they are collaborating with local charity Cáritas, now they are planning to install 1500-2000 garments collection bins in Spain’s major hubs.
Keeping in view the current consumer’s buying trend and behavior and it’s directly effect on environment. We need to restrict our buying behavior and extend the garment’s wearing life. If we add nine months in current life then we can definitely reduce environmental impact around 20-30%. While buying a new cloth, we need to see this whether we could use the same around 30 times? If no then leave this item. And for this, always buy quality garments and don’t prefer quantity over quality. And last but not least, Donate, Donate and Donate. As this is the only way, we could play a healthy and positive contribution towards our environment.