The clothing and textile industry is arguably the second largest polluter in the world. It is estimated that 15% of the fabric used ends up on the cutting room floor. The Environmental Protection Agency stated that 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013 and nearly 70% ended up in landfills. Synthetic clothing can take hundreds of years to decompose.
The United States is the largest importer of garments in the world with nearly 40% being imported from China. Most clothes travel halfway around the world in a ships running on fossil fuels.
The current trend is fast fashion, which is quick-turnaround manufacturing and cheap materials. Fast Fashion is disposable clothing. The average person buys 60% more clothing items than 15 years ago and keeps them half as long. This just accelerates carbon emissions and global warming. It is also linked to dangerous working conditions due to unsafe processes and hazardous substances used in production.
Luxury retailers have been found shredding and incinerating unsold clothing to protect their brand. Although most textiles can be recycled, the systems to do so are not well known or promoted.
This is not an overblown headline, this is a real problem. In March of 2018 United Nations organizations met to discuss how the UN could reach a more comprehensive approach towards the development of a sustainable fashion industry.
The fashion industry is slowly acknowledging these problems and some designers are adopting better standards.
But you don’t have to wait for others to do the right thing. You can make a difference today. Insist on high quality, sustainable materials sewn by yourself or someone you know locally.
Use Patternmaker Pro patterns to guarantee the best fit you’ve ever had. You won’t want to part with your custom made clothing and it will last a very long time. When you’re ready to part ways, give your garments to others to enjoy or deconstruct them and making something new.
Patternmaker Pro is free and powerful software. Take advantage of all it has to offer and spread the word. Let’s disrupt the wasteful fashion industry together.