Circularity Doesn't Solve It
Circularity - the latest buzz word in the fashion world for those who want to feel like they're on the good side of eco consciousness. Circularity is the idea of reducing waste by recycling clothes. You hand over unwanted clothes and bippity-boppity-boo, new textiles are created for re-use. Our partners at RewearAble do just that and it's a necessary and important stage for responsible clothing disposal. But it’s not that simple. See the notion of circularity is solving a problem at the end of the wardrobe lifecycle, when the real problem starts WAY before you get tired of it hanging in your closet.
It begins with the exorbitant volume of garments being produced and the cheap fabrics they are made from to sustain the low-cost and mass production. The real solution? Slowing down the cycle of fashion production and consumption. Do you really need to buy the amazing skirt your bestie has? NO. Borrow it. Should you spend your rent on a dress to wear to that big party coming up? NO. Borrow one.
The majority of clothing today is synthetic (plastic), which is made using fossil fuels and thanks to that, these cheap, disposable, plastic clothing (i.e. fast fashion) accounts for 76% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now let’s talk about what happens when you’re done with that $20 shirt. Pollution will invariably be created once it leaves your local salvation army to get “recycled”. But thanks to circularity, it will now get “re-used ” which really means these recycled plastic clothes will get washed and shed small plastic fibers into our rivers and oceans. And at current pace, by 2050 (only 32 years) we’ll have more plastic than fish in the ocean .
We need to take actionable steps to stop the over production of clothing and learn the difference between unwanted clothing and unwearable clothing. Thankfully we are fortunate to have options: Go old school and borrow from friends, host a clothing swap, rent something from Rent the Runway, or borrow a piece from your new Tulerie connection and help a girl make a buck in the process. Do your small part, so that when you are at dinner tonight, you will know that you're one step closer to eating more salmon than pieces of that skirt you threw away last year.