Are you an Early Adopter or Passive Consumer?

Early Adopter or Passive Consumer? Vote with your wallet!

Sustainability means being profitable while protecting people and planet at the same time. However, we have little knowledge about the true costs of the products we use and the true value of the materials that make up our clothes? Often we hear talk about the natural resources, like water, that are wasted to make products. That the amount of water used to make a single T-shirt could sustain one person for three years for example. But what about human resources? What would happen if everyone knew exactly who made our clothes and how much they are making to do this? Every piece of wasted fabric contains all the resources used in its production process. Are we however willing to pay the true price?

Tshared supports the 'Zero Waste in Fashion' movement, aimed at improving the sustainability of fashion items. To create a zero waste garment design strategy, we have to focus on the entire lifecycle of a product: from design to production, transport, storage to sales. As described in the last blog post on circular fashion, the idea is to create “Circular fashion.” This is based on the principles of the circular economy and sustainable development: 'creating fashion in a circular manner, causing no unnecessary harm to planet and people'. There are however many possibilities to disrupt the current production chain and close the loop of the system of production. One strategy Tshared has adopted is to be transparent on how we get 'From seed to Tee.’ To make people aware of the true costs of the products we create. Another strategy that can change the garment life cycle towards Zero Waste, is the prevention of post- production waste.

Preventing post- production waste. Make, use, remake and reuse!

Post- production waste is created when unworn purchases and items are no longer wanted and thrown away. Tshared prevents this type of disposal of unsold stock, for example through the use of crowdsourcing. But what can we do ourselves? As a 'user of fashion' you can also contribute to help prevent post- production waste from being created. One way to do this is by upcycling fashion. This strategy is based on recycling materials by creating something new from old garments. In this way you extend, the average, or active life of clothing. It has been described by danielle vermeer  as 'one of the most innovative ways to transform the fashion industry' because:

  1. It’s sustainable. Upcycling reduces clothing and textile waste by reusing deadstock or gently used fabric to create new garments and products. Making a single cotton T-shirt requires over 700 gallons of water, whereas using a pre-existing T-shirt to make something new requires nearly no water. In addition, upcycling can divert some of the 85% of textile waste that ends up in landfills.
  2. It’s cost-effective. Similar to reducing waste, upcycling can be less expensive since used or pre-existing materials are typically a fraction of the cost of newly-made materials and textiles.
  3. It’s creative. Upcycling requires creativity to envision the potential of existing materials to create something new and beautiful. 

Make/Use (Add link: www.makeuse.nz) addresses waste generation at three stages in the garment life cycle – production, retail, and (dis)use. They for example help you create something new from old garments by offering open-source, user-modifiable, zero waste designs patterns from theMake/Use collection. You can download templates for the creation of garments here: www.makeuse.nz..

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Vote with your wallet

But all parts of the fashion chain need to become involved to create an effective zero waste garment design strategy. Designers have to take into account, during the production process, how the garments can be made in a way that they can be adapted and changed over time. But we as consumers also have to become aware of the power we have to adopt new brands that create fashion in a circular manner, as every time we buy something, we vote with our wallet. Talking about our wallet: did you know that you can save water and reduce your Co2 Emission at home while washing your clothes by the following...

1.Wash at 40 instead of 60 degrees

Heating the water takes up 90% of the energy in your washing process. So, the first step of the 2 tips is a big one and can save you a lot of money and helps the environment tremendously, CO2 emissions can, for example, be reduced by a half if clothes are washed at 40°C instead of at 60°C". In addition, washing machines of the maximum energy efficiency class A++ produce a third less CO2 emissions per wash cycle than models with a worse class of efficiency.

2.Maximize your washer for energy efficiency

If you have a top-loading washing machine from the last century, chances are it uses twice as much water per load than a newer machine. Front-loading washing machines (also sometimes called "horizontal axis" machines) bearing the Energy Star logo typically use between 68 and 95 liters per load, compared to 152 liters for older machines. But whether or not you're ready to replace your current machine, there are things you can do to upgrade efficiency.

First, wash in cold water. A smashing 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes goes to heating the water, costing you 50 euro or more every year. With more and more detergents specialized for cold-water washing, your whites will still get white without the hot (or warm) water. Next, be sure to wash only full loads of laundry, which ensures that your machine is operating at peak efficiency. If you can't manage to fill her up, the "load size selector option" (if you have one) ensures that smaller loads use less water. The same rule applies to the dryer, by the way.

If you would like to get more valuable tips how to reduce your Co2 Emissions while washion please leave a comment and we will send it to you!

Join our community of active, informed and emotionally engaged early adopters, makers and users and help create a roadmap to zero waste in the fashion industry. Your ideas and suggestions are very welcome! Let's innovate the fashion industry together.

P.S. did you know that on the 11th of September we launch our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. We have amazing gifts for you. Please let me know in the comment box below if you are going to support Tshared and her mission on our way to Zero Waste.

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