Textile Recycling & the Challenges for the Clothing Industry: My Latest on The Guardian
The textile, clothing, and fashion industries combine to create a massive impact on the planet and people who work along the apparel manufacturing supply chain. My latest article on The Guardian covers this issue on Guardian Sustainable Business’ Waste & Recycling Hub. It was not always this way. Older relatives in my family recalled the one nice coat, a few shirts and pants, and a pair of shoes that they meticulously ironed, polished, and repaired if necessary. No longer. Cheap fashion has been part of our daily lives for years and the textile industry has long been shipped abroad where workers often toil in horrid conditions. Companies are starting to respond. Walmart, for example, is close to sourcing children’s clothes that are only made from organic cotton. The shift is described in Edward Humes’ book, Force of Nature. One of the book’s most engrossing part is when Humes describes a moment when a sustainability consultant tossed a Walmart executive a plastic bag of sand to demonstrate how much pesticides go into making one cotton shirt. The point was made, and now Walmart is the largest retailer of organic cotton clothes on the planet. Nevertheless, much work needs to be done, and more innovation is necessary to deal with both waste and wanted clothes. Recycling and waste diversion only scratch the surface of this problem. Of course, there is one solution: buy better made and therefore, less clothing. Read the entire article and share your thoughts.