Apparel recycling is crucial for sustainability

By 2050, three times the current number of natural resources will be needed to meet consumer demand

Setting up a sustainable and circular fashion industry, as well as introducing the habit of recycling and upcycling, are necessary to prevent the pollution created by fast fashion.

Experts said that the fashion industry has fallen into the trap of the fast fashion model, which leads to a hike in sales but comes at an ecological cost.

To save the world from the damage caused by fast fashion, it is high time to take proper initiatives, they also said.

As the second largest producer of RMG, Bangladesh can play a vital role in the recycling of pre-consumer and industrial textile wastage, the experts added.

Environmental cost of fashion industry

According to the recent data published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the fabric that the garment is made of consumes a lot of natural energy, space and water.

It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce a cotton shirt, which is enough for a person to drink at least eight cups a day for three-and-a-half years.

That is because the shirt is made from a highly water-intensive plant – cotton.

About 20% of the world’s water is consumed by the fashion industry, the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply, said the WEF.Moreover, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions.

Natural and non-natural energy is also being used to produce fabrics.

After a few months of wearing them, these clothes are quickly thrown away which contributes to polluting the environment in many ways by ending up in landfills, air pollution with transport, soil pollution, water pollution with dyes etc.

What about our used clothes?

According to the WEF, 85% of the used clothes go into the landfill each year, which either burns or contributes to landfills.

Another 12% of used clothes is used for downcycling like making cleaning clothes to clean utensils, furniture, glass or floor. And only 1% become upcycled, new clothes are made by processing it.

When new clothes are picked up in the stores, shoppers buy them but after a few months, it is seen that a number of shoppers are using these clothes. As a result, it is seen as outdated clothing, thus increasing clothing waste.

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