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Can waste be recycle to produce new products?



According to a recent World Economic Forum report, fashion waste is costing the global economy more than $400 billion every year. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries which is a major contributor to water pollution, plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Have you ever considered that making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles? Do you know discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years? The truth is it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.

Apart from the waste we created during the productions. An average consumer throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. Globally we produce 13 million tons of textile waste each year 95% of which could be reused or recycled. For example, using recycled cotton saves 20,000 liters of water per kilogram of cotton. However, recycled fabrics are usually worse quality than the original. As a result, recycled textiles are usually used to make rags and insulation.

Indeed, there are some successful examples to show how wastes can be converted to new products. In recent years, Max Mara is committed to promoting sustainable development, deconstructing the signature camel coat, taking out the discarded camel hair fabric from it, upgrading it into fine fibers, and developing it into a warm filler CameLuxe. CameLuxe's ​​production process can reduce water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. It was awarded the "Sustainable Fashion Award" by the National Fashion Chamber of Italy by using these materials. Pioneer fashion materials that are ecologically responsible and help embody green fashion.

International brand Adidas began developing its current sustainability strategy in 2015. They collaborated with the environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans to make clothes and shoes using plastic fished out of the ocean. Adidas launched with 7,000 pairs of sneakers, but then scaled up to 11 million sneakers the following year. The shoe, dubbed the Futurecraft Loop, was made out of a single material and welded together with heat, no glue needed, so it can be easily shredded and turned into new material that can go into a new shoe. By investing in and scaling up sustainable technologies–like recycled plastic foam, or bio-based materials for shoes–Adidas will pave the way for other brands to access more sustainable materials as well.

Another fashion brand COS also released the recycled Jewellery series by using recycled jewellery such as silverware. After polishing, the materials are mixed and matched according to the design to create jewellery with neat lines and implement the brand’s minimalist aesthetics. Other fashion brands such as CHANEL, Prada, and even fast fashion brand like H&M and ZARA have promised to use environmentally friendly materials that have the lowest impact on the environment to make clothing. It proves that environmental protection is the new trend in the fashion industry.

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