The starting point for the textile and garment industry, agriculture whether plant or livestock is the starting basis for every natural textile; so everything not made from petroleum. In relation to the environmental footprint of a garment, fibre extraction or the cultivation stage is the largest single contributor to a garment’s carbon and water footprints. This includes crop cultivation and livestock, and the knowledge of what processing must be completed to create a finished material.
Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled in some method. In 2017, more than $173 million in worn or used clothing was exported from Canada to countries and regions around the world. ‘Bale & Ship’ is what happens to bulk, unsold textiles of the lowest quality. They are baled (bound with metal strapping into palatable blocks), and then shipped elsewhere, often to become landfilled or incinerated elsewhere.
A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. This circular system is an alternative to our current reality of a ‘take-make-waste’ system, a linear economy. In regards to textiles, the focus is on reducing waste & pollution, to keep items in use through quality, repair and recycling, and finally to regenerate natural systems through best agricultural practices.
Waste is a design flaw. Drafting is the stage where you decide to pattern a zero-waste design that utilizes the full yardage instead of accepting the industry standard 20% pre-consumer textile waste. Although no one is keeping exact track of the scale, commercial textile waste is estimated to account for about 40 times as much fashion waste as residential dumping.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.
Textile fibres can be created from natural, plant, mineral or synthetic sources. Because of the size of the industry, the natural capital and resources involved, the ethics of labour standards, the rate at which we consume and the way in which we discard, fibre and fabric choices are crucial to the fate of our future.
The term "greenwashing" was coined in the 1980s by environmentalist Jay Westerveld to describe companies which grossly overstate the environmental or ethical benefits of their products and services. Greenwashing, also called "green sheen", is a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization's products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
The hemp fibre is the longest, and therefore strongest natural fibre, resistant to rot and abrasion. Clothing made from hemp grow softer with age, so these garments are incredibly durable. The long fibre can be blended with recycled fibres to improve their quality, hand feel and durability.
For the urban poor in developing countries, informal waste recycling is a common way to earn income. There are few reliable estimates of the number of people engaged in waste picking or of its economic and environmental impact. Yet studies suggest that when organized and supported, waste picking can spur grassroots investment by poor people, create jobs, reduce poverty, save municipalities money, improve industrial competitiveness, conserve natural resources, and protect the environment.
01 - Bored or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having been over exposed to, or having consumed too much of something.
02 - Worn out, wearied, exhausted or lacking enthusiasm, due to age or experience.
03 - Made callous or cynically insensitive, by experience.
04 - A roadblock for climate change.
Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) is a strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process.
A controversial material due to the enormous carbon footprint associated with raising cattle. A hide represents about 10% of the value of a cow. The processing of leather is also particularly resource intensive, especially if the hide is chrome-tanned (this represents 80% of the market share).
1. Start With Quality
2. Pay Attention to Laundering
3. Practice Good Hygiene
4. Learn Basic Repairs
5. Iron With Care
6. Rotate Your Clothes
7. Practice Good Storage Habits
8. Dye Faded Clothes
9. Dress After Your Hair and Makeup
10. Air Dry
Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible. The most obvious ecosystem services include the food we eat, the water we drink and the plant materials we use for fuel, building materials, pharmaceutical and of course, textiles.
The stats are really frightening and frankly, terrible. But starting from such a low point provides us all the opportunity to do better. To make better choices. To demand sustainability from manufacturers. To capture value in all this waste. A circular economy still allows capitalism to function, it just provides environmental limitations. The current rules need to go out the window because right now, we're all losing.
The global fashion industry is valued at $2.4 Trillion. In fact, not only does this industry literally touch everyone, but also it would be the world’s seventh-largest economy if ranked alongside individual countries’ gross domestic products. While the total number of workers in this industry is not known, in 2014 the textile, clothing, and footwear sector worldwide was estimated to employ about 60 million to 75 million people, more than three quarters of whom are women.
- The higher the quality, the better you will look & the longer the item will last. When you shop secondhand, higher quality items will fall into your budget. For classic pieces, buy the best you can afford - it will save you money in the long run.
BEST for the Earth,
GREAT for your Wallet &
AMAZING on you!
The most sustainable way to shop. Period.
Textile, any filament, fibre, or yarn that can be made into fabric or cloth, and the resulting material itself. The term is derived from the Latin 'textilis' and the French 'texere', meaning “to weave,” and it originally referred only to woven fabrics. It has, however, come to include fabrics produced by other methods.
Upcycling is when unwanted products or by-products are turned into new materials or items of higher value and better quality. This prevents the need to extract virgin resources, or at the very least, require a lot less new material. This is the opposite of downcycling, which is where most textile recycling ends up. The process of downcycling involves converting unwanted or excess product into new materials of lesser value and quality.
In the secondhand clothing universe, vintage refers to any garments older than 20 years, which shockingly now means Y2K. But it also relates to wine of a high quality that is worth saving for decades. True for both clothes & wine: if it's bad to start with, it is not going to improve with age. I like to think that certain vintages of fashion are better than others. And no matter your personal style, quality is objective.
Water is the foundation of all life, and yet global supplies of fresh water are being used up at an alarming rate. The fashion industry relies heavily on water for its own survival. From the irrigation of cotton crops at one end of the supply chain to the domestic washing of clothes at the other, fashion is a thirsty business. The fashion industry is the third largest user of water globally (after oil and paper).
Environmental racism refers to the institutional rules, regulations, policies or government and/or corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities for locally undesirable land uses and lax enforcement of zoning and environmental laws, resulting in minority communities being disproportionately exposed to toxic and hazardous waste based upon race.