The environmental impact of fashion waste is overwhelming. Every year the UK alone sends 350,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill. And as the majority of garments are made from oil-based materials like polyester – 22.67 billion tonnes of polyester clothing is produced every year worldwide – they aren’t going anywhere fast. Oil doesn’t decompose, and if burned the material will release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. There are also problems associated with trimmings such as buttons, zips, studs and interfacing or lining. When buried with other waste in landfill, the combination of metal components, moisture and heat causes gases such as methane to be emitted.
In response to this, and other elements of the fast fashion crisis, the industry is changing. Some brands have introduced recycling schemes to address what happens to their products post-purchase. And the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee recently recommended a penny charge on each garment sold to fund more and better clothing collection and recycling schemes.Read more →