The time period “upcycle” sounds loads like what it means, which is to repurpose or reuse discarded supplies or objects. On the subject of upcycled clothes, the underside line function of each upbiking and rebiking occurs: the clothes is given one other leg of life.
The emergence of thrift shops and consignment outlets have been the early methods to go inexperienced together with your used clothes. Right here, customers are capable of finding way more inexpensive choices for used versus new clothes. While you donate your outdated garments to a thrift retailer, you’re recycling these garments. While you promote your garments in a consignment retailer, you’re upcycling them.
92 million kilos of garments find yourself in American landfills annually.
For recycled clothes, assume thrift shops, and for upcycled clothes, assume consignment shops. Each are glorious methods to be extra environmentally acutely aware together with your clothes.
The Significance of Upcycled Clothes, Circularity, and Sustainability
There’s an idea referred to as circularity that you will have examine because it pertains to sustainability. Whereas sustainability is the broad effort to be extra environmentally pleasant, circularity focuses particularly on decreasing (waste), reusing, and recycling.
Why ought to we as customers care? As a result of as customers, we’re additionally residents of this planet, of which we solely get one. The quantity of sources – from water, to carbon, to waste – that go into making a single garment is staggering. So whereas it’s vital to pay attention to this reality, it’s much more vital to behave on it.
Listed below are a couple of extra fascinating information from WRAP in regards to the energy of upcycling, reusing, and repurposing our activewear (and past):
- Reusing a garment as an alternative of shopping for a brand new one cuts down carbon emissions by 51%
- Holding a garment in use for an additional 9 months reduces the water, carbon and waste footprint by a mean of 25% (think about if it was saved in use even longer!)
- Shopping for or promoting used (upcycled) clothes extends that garment’s life by roughly two years
- All of this drastically reduces waste and society’s reliance on virgin supplies and sources
Quick trend is actually killing the planet. Do you know that quick trend, or textile waste, is accountable for 10% of the worldwide carbon emissions? Tens of millions of kilos of garments find yourself within the landfills annually. 92 million tons to be precise.
Earth.org presents the most effective visible of this monumental downside: image a rubbish truck dumping a full load of discarded garments into the landfill each second. That’s what number of thousands and thousands of kilos of clothes finally ends up discarded in trash dumps.
As one of many world’s main environmentally-forward firms, Patagonia shares, “The manufacturing of any piece of clothes requires utilizing scarce pure sources. Shopping for used gear means one much less new merchandise that needed to be made, lightening the load on our planet.”
Shopping for or promoting used (upcycled) clothes extends that garment’s life by roughly two years.
The common American will throw away practically 90 kilos of clothes yearly.
It takes over 10,000 gallons of water to make only one pound of cotton. Since 2005, the variety of occasions a garment has been worn earlier than being discarded has dropped by 35%.
What makes all of those horrifying statistics even worse is that quick trend is simply gaining momentum. Statistics present that whereas the style trade is accountable for 20% of the world’s waste water, quick trend clothes manufacturing has doubled previously 20 years.
In 2020 alone, on-line clothes returns within the US created as a lot emissions as 3.5 million vehicles on the highway would for one 12 months.
Upcycle Your Activewear: The Planet and Your Pockets Will Thank You
What the statistics above show is the ability of the buyer. Customers have the ability to create an enormous ripple impact on the planet – for higher or worse.
We’ve seen the unfavorable results of quick trend waste and throwaway tradition. However these results additionally show that collectively, we have now the ability to create a distinct impact – one that’s sustainable and round.
And there are trade leaders who’re already making strides in upcycling clothes for a extra sustainable strategy to activewear.
Not surprisingly, Patagonia is on the prime of this checklist! Patagonia’s Worn Put on is dedicated to extending the life of drugs to in flip lengthen the lifetime of our planet by elevating consciousness, slicing down on consumption, and getting extra use out of the activewear we have already got.
Worn Put on helps Patagonia lovers “take mutual accountability to increase the lifetime of the merchandise Patagonia makes and prospects buy.” Their upcycling initiative supplies “important sources for accountable care, restore, reuse and resale, and recycling on the finish of a garment’s life.” It’s all with the mission of conserving this clothes out of landfills.
Prospects can commerce of their worn Patagonia for retailer credit score. It’s an effective way to commerce in and receives a commission (by way of extra Patagonia activewear). Along with trade-ins, it’s also possible to store the Recrafted Assortment (which is upcycled clothes made out of different used garments), and the Seconds Assortment (which is new activewear with slight imperfections).
It’s nice for returning prospects who wish to earn cash in the direction of new gear, and it’s equally as nice for purchasers who need a low cost and wish to help upcycling practices.
One other chief within the activewear trade that’s normalizing upcycled clothes is Lululemon. Lululemon’s activewear upcycling initiative is known as Like New. In response to their web site, they incorporate an analogous 3 R’s: rethink, revive, rediscover. Like Patagonia’s Worn Put on, Lululemon’s Like New permits Lulu lovers to promote again their evenly used activewear for credit score in the direction of new gear.
Like New’s earnings go in the direction of Lululemon’s sustainability initiatives underneath their Impression Agenda. It’s motivating to see large manufacturers creating upcycled clothes initiatives, as a result of it implies that different firms and types will observe, and the pattern will unfold.
Don’t store at Lululemon or Patagonia? Wish to broaden your upcycling efforts past these two manufacturers? Apps like Poshmark allow you to store sustainably (that means you don’t have to depart your own home) and promote your garments for money (that means they get an extended life cycle)! There are various apps for reselling and upcycled clothes. Do a little analysis to see which most closely fits your wants.