You have got the recycling of household waste nailed-ish, but what about fashion?
This week is RECYCLE WEEK in the UK, encouraging us all to step up our recycling game and reduce our environmental impact.
With 300.000 tonnes of clothing ending up in landfill in the UK every year, there is definitely some room for improvement when it comes to recycled fashion, which is why I have listed 4 easy steps that you can take to help preserve all the magical places on the planet.
1. RECYCLE YOUR OLD CLOTHES
Rather than throwing them in the bin, recycle your old clothes by using the clothing recycling bins provided by your council.
True, currently we can only reuse certain fibres and none of the mixed fibres. The key word is currently. We have been so busy digging holes in the ground and burying our waste, that we forgot to develop technologies that can recycle it instead. The EU has now set a target to recycle and reuse a minimum of 50% of household waste in all member states by 2020, and I am positive that this will result in a boom of businesses coming up with clever ways to separate fibres and reuse them. Meanwhile we can start building good habits and take comfort in the know that at least some of it will be reused at present.
2. SHOP FIBRES THAT ARE EASILY RECYCLABLE
Directly related to the point above is of course the suggestion to shop fashion made from fibres that are fully recyclable at this point in time: 100% wool, 100% cotton, 100% polyester, 100% polyamide and leather. Cut, shredded or melted, these fibres can all be turned into swatches or yarns and gain new life in fashion. And in the process we save lots of water and energy, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals used.
The Yosemite Jacket in 100% organic cotton.
3. BUY FASHION MADE FROM RECYCLED FIBRES
Lots of fashion brands have started to use fabrics made from recycled materials in their collections. Some of the materials are derived from recycled fashion, others from recycled household waste or sea pollution. As an example, old fishing nets from the ocean are transformed into activewear, swimwear and nylon tights, while the cotton from a pair of old jeans can be used for yarns in a new pair. Check the care labels for fibre composition and look for recycled or upcycled fibres.
The Jinhae Jumper in 100% recycled merino. Available from mid-October.
4. RECYCLE ALL YOUR PLASTIC WASTE
OK this one is super easy and super important; make sure to recycle all of your recyclable household plastic waste as this can be reused for beautiful fabrics such as lightweight chiffon, fluffy fake fur, super soft fleeces and durable denims.
Here is a mind-blowing fact for you: according to WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme), an estimated 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, but only 19.8 million of them are recycled each day. That’s 16 million plastic bottles potentially ending up in landfill every single day in the UK alone… Yikes!
Imagine how much we can reduce our environmental impact by a) by recycling them, or b) by not buying them at all :-)
Through recycling and reusing the plastic bottles for new bottles, polyester fabrics or other things plastic, we save a vast amount of natural resources (water and oil), energy, land (not used for landfill) and carbon emissions.
The Ivalo Dress in 100% recycled polyester. Available from mid-October.
There are genuinely only upsides to joining the recycled fashion wagon and these 4 steps require little effort to implement into your normal routine.
It makes so much sense to me to continuously recycle and reuse all the materials that we have already generated – especially the ones that will never degrade such as plastic and the ones involving animals.
It truly is possible to achieve exactly the same using recycled materials as virgin materials in terms of sass, look, hand feel and quality, so you can continue to look just as gorgeous as you do today. And if you join us in our recycling mission, then the planet will continue looking fab too. Win win!
Main caption: The Vinnie Leather Jacket from Swedish brand DEADWOOD made from recycled vintage leather.