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Fashion Trends Are Often Recycled. Now More Clothing Can Be, Too.

From collaborating on the creation of biofibers to the manufacturing of environmentally friendly tag fasteners, some in the apparel sector are working with technology startups to clean up the world’s closets.

January 27, 2021 / 11:29 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Sustainability in the fashion industry was once the focus of only a handful of designers like Stella McCartney and outdoor gear companies such as Patagonia.

But traditional and new brands are trying to improve a supply chain increasingly criticized for contributing to landfills and causing other forms of pollution throughout the manufacturing process.

From collaborating on the creation of biofibers to the manufacturing of environmentally friendly tag fasteners, some in the apparel sector are working with technology startups to clean up the world’s closets.

The biggest problem rests with the volume of unwanted clothing that winds up in landfills. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works to foster sustainability, clothing production globally roughly doubled from 2000 to 2015. During the same period, the number of times a garment was worn declined by 36%. All told, “the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second,” their report found.