Combatting the Waste Crisis
The throw away mentality of America is causing a waste crisis. Buying cheap products and then just buying a new one when it falls apart has become way too common. We think we are saving money but it ends up costing us more financially AND environmentally. Even in this day and age of a more environmentally conscious America, we still throw away approximately 14 million tons of clothing alone each year - or 80 pounds a person - according to a Sept. 2016 Newsweek article on Fast Fashion.
Now, you may think because you consign or donate your unwanted clothes, yours don't go in a landfill. Yes and no. "Charities overall only sell 20% of the clothing donated to them at their retail outlets." The remainder is either sold to textile recyclers (Great? Not quite. We'll come back to this.) or is shipped all over the globe to be sold as is. "Japan gets the second nicest vintage items after the U.S. stores, South American countries get the mid-grade stuff, Eastern European countries get the cold-weather clothes, and African countries get the low-grade stuff no one else will take." And when they don't sell there - landfill. Now, East African leaders are proposing a ban on importing second hand clothing, due to the negative impact on their own clothing manufacturing. If that happens, even more for the landfills.
Well, we can't leave you depressed and ready to join a nudist colony. There are both established and start up companies furiously working to create sustainable processes and closed loop technology for recycling clothing and textiles. "The EPA estimates that diverting all of those [14 million tons of] often-toxic trashed textiles into a recycling program would be the environmental equivalent of taking 7.3 million cars and their carbon dioxide emissions off the road."
What it boils down to is - be conscious of your shopping choices and just "buy better". There are many companies like Hoadin who create quality products that are built to last and will even repair or recycle products as needed for free. We are doing our part to combat waste, care for the environment and save you money in the long run. In the fashion world, there are more and more sustainable fashion brands popping up every day. One of the O.G. eco-conscious brands is Patagonia. Not only are they uber conscious of their materials and production processes but they also offer repairs and trade ins. A newer brand that we've fallen for is Softwear - loungewear that's the epitome of comfort and focused on closed loop production practices and sustainable materials. To find more established and up and coming sustainable brands, check out these eco focused Instagram accounts and/or their websites - @thegoodtrade, @ecocultcom and @sustainablychic