Posted on by Lidiia Sobolenko

Recycling: Anyone can save the Earth 

In 2013, the Swedish giant H&M was one of the first to announce a return policy for shoppers, meaning shoppers could buy new clothes and return their used apparel. The company accepted everything: old underwear, filthy T-shirts, dirty jeans, unpaired socks from any brand. In return, H&M gave a 15% discount on a shopper’s purchase in their stores. 

A year later a collection of recycled old, torn, and unnecessary clothes were sold in the same shops. This project was beneficial for everyone, buyers received discounts, and H&M utilized cheap raw materials for the production of a new collection. As a result, less trash was accumulated which made it easier to recycle what was given. 

This process is called recycling. Recycling is the process of converting things into reusable products. 

If everyone benefits, why did it come so late?

The main reason is the underestimation and low attention to the threat of textile garbage. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 1960, Americans threw away 1.76 million tons of textile waste, and in 2015 16 million tons. 

Quote: “In 1960, Americans threw away 1.76 million tons of textile waste, and in 2015 16 million tons”

In other words, waste grew to be 9 times larger. Two-thirds of this waste is decomposed in massive landfills, the height of which reaches 12-story houses. Textile waste pollutes everything around: soil, groundwater, and air. Garbage has become an enemy of the entire planet. But organic fabrics, cloth, and textiles may become a potential solution to minimize our global problem. 

Eco style is the future of the planet

Not only are retail manufacturers to blame, but also consumers. The ever-growing consumerism demand puts pressure on retailers to supply. In our pursuit for happiness, shoppers are buying more and more clothes, while brands indulge them with marketing and increased supply The phenomenon of rapid and increased supply of fashion has appeared. 

Quote: “ the clothes lifecycle has been reduced by 36% from 2002 to 2017”

According to another study, consumers are beginning to say goodbye to old clothes much faster after buying them. Thus, the clothes lifecycle has been reduced by 36% from 2002 to 2017. 

As a result of this threat to our climate, the world responded with 100 countries signing the Paris Agreement in 2015. This agreement regulates measurements to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere until 2020.

Both states and people can participate in this initiative.

How can you help?

Remember that people who work on the production of apparel, even low-cost brands, are contributing to the earth’s portion of carbon dioxide. The longer one maintains their wardrobe, the easier it is for us to prevent the consequences of climate change. 

Steps to achieve this goal include: reduce the production of new clothes by buying less. Take a closer look at your old things, and maybe they can still come in handy.

Secondly, pay attention to clothes made using recycling technology. There are enough brands in Ukraine ready to offer recycling such as Ksenia Schnaider, Una Terra, UliUlia, Remade and others.

Clothing made of linen, nettle, and silk

Bet on eco-fabrics. Linen dresses, skirts, tunics - all these materials are pleasing to your body and safe for the Earth.

If you still decide to say goodbye to clothes, don’t rush to throw them away. Think of friends, relatives, family members and even homeless people around you. By helping the Earth, you also help people.

there is nobody to give clothes to - rather than throwing them away, give them to recycling brands or second-hand stores. Perhaps, from these shops, your things will go to the right hands or become a part of a brand-new collection thanks to recycling technology.