The fast-changing fashion trends have encouraged the production of low-quality textiles and garments that are neither reusable nor recyclable. The National Waste Report estimates that consumers abandon approximately 800,000 tonnes of textiles, leather, rubber, and clothing annually, with only 7% of the waste being recycled and ending up in landfills. You might not know, but the emission of greenhouse gases from those fabrics can be reduced by 44% if people wear their clothing for twice as long as they do now. This is where circularity or circular economy comes into play for eliminating the energy and textile waste produced by the fashion and apparel industry.
What do you mean by circularity?
The circularity of the clothing business is defined as the textiles being recycled as frequently as possible while maintaining their highest value and being safely returned to the environment when they are no longer needed. The ideal approach is to reuse clothing and buy less of it. Overall, the Earth will benefit significantly from this. In other words, recyclable materials, non-toxicity, repeatability, and environmental considerations should be considered when producing fashion items. Plus, sustainable production practices and recyclable materials must be considered when creating products.
Its basic idea is focused on using raw materials like wool and cotton that have the potential to be recycled, reused, and sustainable in a closed-loop system with renewable energy. It aims to raise the value of the products while utilising the fewest pure raw materials possible, producing no CO2 emissions and boosting organisations’ long-term profits. In short, a circular economy implies a cyclical approach to production and consumption.
Benefits of circularity in the fashion world
Lower greenhouse gas emissions
Natural fibre clothing, such as cotton, linen, and wool, can disintegrate swiftly. Oxygen is a crucial component needed for breakdown. Anaerobic digestion caused by oxygen deprivation causes putrefaction, which breaks down organic matter and produces byproducts like methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that negatively impacts the environment; it has an 80 times greater ability to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. These gases harm the environment because they can cause climate change and heat emissions.
Reusing clothing saves a lot of room because it keeps them out of the garbage. Landfills cause damage in a variety of ways. Environment, space, and public health are all impacted. Recycling clothes and other items allows one to conserve space and reduces methane production. People who live close to landfills may be affected by methane emissions. Methane in the air can significantly impact health and induce nausea, vomiting, visual issues, memory issues, and more.
For garment production, the industries use a lot of energy. When you start wearing your garments repeatedly, the demand decreases, leading to reduced production rates. Thus, saving a lot of energy and resources. Everything from scarves to bridal gowns has gone through a protracted manufacturing process that uses a lot of power, water, and other types of energy. Additionally, recycling uses less fuel than creating a garment from the start. Similarly to this, purchasing recycled clothing contributes to halting the market’s rapid fashion trend.
It could be challenging to switch over to paper products completely. Your preferred chocolate may only sometimes be available packaged in a biodegradable package. However, the circularity technique is straightforward and manageable. It is something that you can adopt at home. To positively affect the environment, you can check on your spouse and kids’ clothes and teach them about this approach. Donating your garments to the less fortunate takes less time than tossing them in the trash. It involves less work from you and benefits the underprivileged and the environment.
After going through this article, hope you have understood why economists and ecologists emphasise adopting a circular economy in the textile industry. It is an approach that benefits not only you but also the environment. Your one simple move can make a difference.