Europe’s landfills are bursting at the seams with discarded clothing and other textiles. Of the 5.8 million tonnes of textiles that EU consumers discard every year, only a quarter is recycled. According to Friends of the Earth Europe, the remaining 4.3 million tonnes are dumped.
That’s equivalent to 60 garbage truckloads of clothes being burned or buried in landfills every minute. This is a pretty bleak picture, but change is underway.
Circularity and innovative solutions are already making the fashion industry more sustainable. This means producing clothes in an environmentally friendly manner, making them reusable and recyclable wherever possible.
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Employing more than 300 million people and producing 100 billion items every year, the fashion industry has a colossal impact on the environment. Driving this trend is so-called ‘fast-fashion’, an exploitative yet highly profitable business model that turns high-fashion designs into low-cost, mass-produced styles.
In the EU, textile consumption is the fourth highest pressure category in terms of the use of primary raw materials and water (after food, housing and transport). It’s also fifth for greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the pressure and impact are linked to clothing and footwear.
Because these garments are meant to be disposable, fast fashion encourages over-consumption … Read the rest