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What kind of cycle is up?


Author Evelina Kaganovitch
contributor
medium: @evelinakaganovitch

Evelina is an Australian Fashion Designer who is passionate about using her voice to advocate for more sustainable practices in the fashion industry.




 © Utopia By Cho
Why it is important to reduce the amount of textile waste and how up-cycling can help us do so.

We all know fast fashion is not good news for mother nature. But did you know that after the oil industry, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world? The lack of transparency in the fashion industry masks complex issues. One of the main problems is the amount of textile waste discarded into landfill. The impact humans have on the environment keeps increasing and manufacturers are struggling to keep up with consumer demands. In turn, it produces a throw-away society that favors cheap and disposable clothing that sees the trash not long after purchase. In 2014, 73 million tonnes of fashion were consumed globally. This number grows by 4% per year.

How can we help? We can Up-cycle! Up-cycling is known as a method of adding value to a product, garment and/or material by repurposing existing resources and materials. Up-cycling increases the value of a garment. Repurposing of existing materials has been positively received. It is one of the only manufacturing systems that allows for a closed-loop production system, meaning no additional or new waste being created. This method brings waste back into the consumption chain through principles of design.

It is essential to reduce the amount of waste being thrown out into landfills. A shocking 70% of discarded clothing ends up in a rubbish dump. The cradle-to-grave life cycle of a product is killing the environment at a rapid speed. By extending the life cycle of more clothing, it will help reduce the severity of the issue. Brands are becoming accountable for their actions, and social responsibility is fast becoming embedded in brand DNA. Unfortunately waste will always be present in some way. It would be naive to assume that it is possible to be 100% zero-waste. However, how it is dealt with and disposed of will help nurse nature back to health.  

Resurrecting old clothes gives them the opportunity of a second life. They don’t need to live out their last day in landfill. Clothes really can be a gift that keeps on giving, for humans and the environment. Fashion has a future, and it looks sustainable. Raising our voices and advocating for change is the foundation of evolution, and sustainability is the latest hot topic. Let’s fall back in love with our clothes and learn to appreciate them, instead of throwing them out, we can also exchange them with friends and help reduce the damage.