How might we reduce the systemic problem of fabric and textile waste?

Goal 13: Climate Action | By: Giselle


It can be hard to approach the topic of fabric waste as it’s something we’ve all contributed to, whether we’ve realized it or not. While fast fashion has been a topic of discussion due to the overloaded landfills and overwhelmed recycling centres, it’s hard to convey just how large the issues behind the textile industry truly are.

We are well aware of the consumer's point of view behind the lifecycle of clothing. However, the conversation usually changes when it comes to various topics such as the following: where these clothes came from, the processes of how these clothes are made, or even the raw materials themselves and how they came to be. There are so many connections of systemic issues that have not been a major part of the conversation and while they’ve been acknowledged, it’s still not taken seriously by the vast majority of consumers. To acknowledge what has been done and to look forward to what you can do is all that it takes to make a shift.

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I feel as though my topic naturally occurred to me after working in the fast-fashion industry for close to 10 years. While I noticed some signs of waste, I definitely had my blinders on. After diving into the research, it became quite clear how far fabric & textile waste reaches, and the damaging effects it is having on the environment, specifically water contamination and land erosion. While it feels like one person’s change wouldn’t make a difference, I wanted to realistically approach the topic to inform and find affordable and realistic ideas to change our habits.