We are more concerned about plastic waste, but the textile waste is equally daunting!
The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to the world’s pollution, after the oil industry. Garment manufacturing contributes 20 percent of water pollution, and 85 percent of all clothing ends up in landfills.
Four percent of Bengaluru’s Municipal Solid Waste is textile waste, which has an environmental impact.
Textile waste is classified into two types: pre-waste and post-waste.
Textile waste is a major issue, and our landfills and garbage dumps are overflowing with our old and worn clothes, cutting scrap, and other items, but how did it get here and where has it gone?
The journey of a T-shirt, from fashion to garbage. It is made in a garment manufacturing unit where scraps of fabric are discarded; this is known as pre-production waste. Scraps are sometimes sold to chindiwalas or independent waste workers.
The chindiwala sells larger pieces to smaller traders and manufacturers, who turn them into garments or rags that ultimately end up in landfills. Now the t-shirt goes to a retail store where you or I buy it, wear it and reuse it a few times, and after some wear and tear, this t-shirt also finds its way back to the same landfill. These old and worn clothes are referred to as post-consumer waste. Sometimes no one likes the t-shirt and no one buys it for a long time, and it is eventually sold to that same chindiwala, where it begins its long journey back to the landfill. This deadstock is referred to as post-production waste.
Big brands account for more than 20 percent of manufacturing waste. So, despite all the time and money spent on creating garments, they don’t mind simply tossing the excess, which ends up in landfills.
Because it is waste, viewing it as a valuable raw material would bring it back into the chain and reduce the burden on our landfills. All of the stakeholders in this value chain do not collaborate; instead, they simply pass the waste on to the next person in the chain. Collaboratively designing a system that considers how we can redraw it to be better and close the loop on this waste is a challenge for the entire ecosystem. However, the cost is higher than we think.
Companies such as Zara, Forever 21, H&M, etc., are working to create more sustainable clothing. These companies are getting a huge response from the people. So big brands are accepting reusable clothing, and chindiwalas collect pre and post-waste, which is then recycled.
The textiles industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the weight of a household bin; at least 50% of textiles discarded are recyclable, but only 25 percent of waste is recycled in the procedure.
But, we are recycling the textile waste right?
Then, why there is a question of pollution? And what about the solutions?
Wait….! Do you have the same questions? You’ve come to the right place, and I’m here to tell you why. To know more, watch the entire video.