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Reposted from The Guardian:


“Imagine the jumper you’re wearing now had skeletons in its closet. Imagine it was once a completely different piece of clothing in a previous life. That’s the idea behind eradicating waste in fashion.

Fashion is now affordable to millions of consumers, but the low-cost, high volume business model that allows this also encourages a culture of disposal, with an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing sent to landfill each year in the UK alone. 

With cotton prices fluctuating and agricultural land for food running out, the fashion industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its waste and become less dependent on virgin resources. Recycling textiles is one way of addressing both.

This isn’t something fashion brands have only just cottoned onto. Giorgio Armani launched its first eco project in 1995 with the development of a process to recycle denim. But in the 20 years since, interest has increased, with big brands like M&S, H&M and Patagonia running collection and recycling programmes for unwanted clothes.

Fashion brands alone, however, can’t drive waste out of the industry. While there is huge untapped potential in recycling textiles, technical challenges remain, in particular around separating the various fibres blended into one piece of clothing. To build the materials, technology and infrastructure that will enable a more sustainable fashion industry require industry wide collaboration.”

The big questions is: How do we practically achieve this?