Fashion may be all glitz and glamour upfront but the back-story of how the apparel industry operates is anything but pretty. The production of synthetic fibers, the process of dyeing, printing, etc. all release dangerous gases and wastewater into the environment.
Other than the pollution caused by the production of textiles across the world, the fashion industry is also guilty of contributing to the expansion of landfills globally. Every year, millions of tons of clothes are dumped into landfills all over the world.
In 2016, the US alone dumped 15 million tons of clothes into its landfills. People presume that clothes wear off with time but much of our clothing is made of synthetic fibers which contains the same polymers that are used in the development of plastics. Synthetic fibers can take over a century to decompose.
To combat the problem of textile waste some companies have chosen to step up chosen to take the eco-friendly route by selling eco-fashion – clothes that are made keeping in account the well-being of the environment.
If you’re not ready to commit to shopping from eco-friendly brands, you can always opt for sustainable fashion. Making sustainable fashion choices just means that you’re making a conscious decision to limit your ecological footprint when it comes to fashion.
There are 7 types of sustainable fashion:
Custom-made fashion refers to getting clothes made specifically for you. This can limit the waste generated from mass-production.
2. Green-Fashion (Eco-Fashion)
Green-fashion or eco fashion simply refers to clothing that was made using eco-friendly processes.
3. High-Quality, Timeless Design
Designer-brand outfits fit into this category; they are of superior quality and they have classic designs that outlive trends. Since they never look outdated, they don’t need to be thrown away!
4. Fair & Ethical clothing
Fair & ethical clothing includes traditional productions and clothing that was made without unethical practices (exploitation of poor, animal fur, etc).
5. Repair, Re-Design and Up-cycle
If you know anyone who cuts up old clothes and uses them to make new creations, exciting creations, they fit into this category. Any sort of re-designing and repairing of clothes that extends their lifecycle is considered sustainable fashion.
6. Rent and Swap
Sometimes you just need an outfit for a night.
Why waste money on buying clothes you just need for the night when you can rent them? It will be lighter on your wallet and it will be better for the environment.
Clothes swaps are another way to get clothing without spending a dime. Bored of your clothes? Just swap them with someone else who is bored of theirs!
7. Second-Hand and Vintage
Shopping at a thrift-store or buying from a yard sale is another great way of extending the life-cycle of clothes.
All types of sustainable fashion help reduce textile-waste. It may not seem like one person may be able to make much of a difference in landfills but think of the bagfuls of clothes you throw out every year. If enough people can extend the life of their clothes, clothing companies will have to reduce production and we will be able to lower the impact of textile waste on Earth.
Whitehouse & Shapiro is an industry leader in the second-hand clothing industry. It purchases credential clothing from thrift stores and charities from all over the country. This clothing is then responsibly sold to trusted partners in foreign markets. Clothes that are not sold are recycled into mixed rags. It successfully keeps 2.5million tons of textile waste out of landfills annually!
Contact Whitehouse & Shapiro today to find out how you can reduce textile waste.