Textiles | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

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It would be a stretch to suggest that their products might save the planet, but perhaps they can offer inspiration for a different perspective. If we can all reframe our own ideas about waste as they have, we will have taken another step in the journey towards a thriving circular economy – one that can meet the needs of the present, while leaving the planet in a state that allows future generations to meet their needs, too.

The fashion industry produces more harmful carbon emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined. Does your closet contribute to climate change? Find out with thredUP’s fashion footprint calculator.

Everyone has clothing and other items at home that aren’t getting the love and attention they deserve. Swap Events are a fun way for people to bring gently used clothing or small household items and swap them for ‘new’ items! Swap Events are also a great opportunity to have fun, get creative, meet your neighbours, and reduce waste.

This report outlines a vision for a system that works, delivering long-term benefits – a new textiles economy based on the principles of a circular economy. It offers a direction of travel on which the industry can agree and focus its efforts. In a new textiles economy, clothes, textiles, and fibres are kept at their highest value during use and re-enter the economy afterwards, never ending up as waste. This vision is distinct from, and complements, ongoing efforts to make the textiles system more sustainable by minimising its negative impacts.

Students at West Ferris Secondary School have been busy this week breathing new life into old items that would otherwise be thrown away.

The students have been collecting old clothes and other unwanted textiles for re-wear and reuse, while raising awareness about issues such as consumption and waste.

It’s all part of the I Give a Shirt Challenge, an initiative of the Recycling Council of Ontario and Value Village which is open to high schools in Ontario and British Columbia and offers prizes for collection, community engagement and social media efforts.

Canadians send more than 12 million tonnes of clothing and textiles into the waste stream every year – and that’s not a good look. As we shop, scroll, swipe, one-click-ship, like-to-buy and pre-order our way through life, it’s easy to forget that every single “new” purchase is part of the problem. Because, “What’s one more t-shirt?” Well, it takes 2,650 litres of water to make that shirt. “A new pair of jeans?” Add 6,800 litres more. Consumers are addicted to consumption without giving thought to the impact their apparel purchasing behaviours have on the planet.

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