A possible solution to fast fashion's waste problem?
Recycled textiles could play a role – if retailers had better access to them.
This article on The Conversation offers a good overview on the environmental impacts of fashion industry waste and how some companies are turning to recycled textiles in an effort to become more sustainable and circular.
The article talks about Zara's recent fashion line of clothing made from a poly-cotton blend made from mixed recycled textiles and suggests that more major retailers need to follow in the company's footsteps. It's cool that Zara came up with a way to recycle different types of fabrics without having to separate them and create a new blended fibre. According to the company's advertising, clothing made from this material can be recycled and remade into new fibers multiple times, which actually seems pretty impressive.
I do wonder if the recycling process is powered by green energy and what kind of emissions it produces, though. It's great to use recycled existing textiles but how much energy goes into the production of these new fibres and what amount of microplastics are released into the environment in the process? These seem like important questions to be asking.
Of course the most sustainable fashion option is to buy nothing unless you really need it and stick to buying thrifted clothes whenever possible when you do need it so you're not adding even more items into the clothing ecosystem and helping great pieces of clothing stay alive and serving their purpose longer.
On that note, can I say that my husband and teenaged son and I went into the big city this past weekend to go thrifting and all of us came home with absolute *fire* new (to us) wardrobe items for the fall? Treasure hunting for the win!
The best way to end fashion waste is obviously to stop making and buying new stuff in the first place. 🔥