Columnist Suzi Christoffersen is founder and owner of Closed Loop, a consultancy company guiding and supporting fashion companies in the implementation of sustainable development strategies. One of Closed Loop’s main focuses is textiles and the company recently took over The Fabric Source, a sustainable textile library.
We all love fashion … but we need to wake up!
Did you know that only 3% of material used for fashion globally is recycled? A high-quality cotton t-shirt could be recycled 3 times, but it usually isn’t. 73% of clothing ends up in landfills or is incinerated. Seriously. We have a problem.
We’re running out of resources and still we’re producing new fabric. Circularity is the answer. Fabrics can be recycled and reused to make new fabrics. Right now, a lot of fabric is just not recyclable and we don’t have the systems yet to recycle on a large-scale. But investments are coming, and engineers are working hard to solve the problem.
But our habits have to change, and the industry has to create systems for recycling fabrics. As buyers, we can use our voices. We can tell shops that they need to act. We can tell them we want recycling systems. We can think before we shop and think about what we buy (more on that tomorrow). Today your outfit requires so many resources – water, chemicals and land, and the greenhouse gas emissions are just beyond crazy!
But we’re getting there. There are brands and organisations working hard to change the industry, and there are designers thinking about circularity from the beginning to make fashion a circular system. It’s one of the most interesting things in the fashion industry today! It’s a race to the future and a new framework.
For more inspiration, here are two great links to read: