How glamorous is fashion?

Eco­ effectiveness: Become proud of your footprint ­Stef Kranendijk 

How glamorous is fashion? What association do you have with fashion? That it is glamourous? It sure is. 

But there is another side of the medal. What association do you have with a landfill or the burning of fabrics for example. This is where fabrics often end up after being used and sometimes even without being used. So think again.. How glamorous is fashion? As humans, our natural footprint last no more than 50­100 years, there are however other 'things' literally that we will be leaving behind that will last centuries to decompose: Our waste. And unfortunately, a big part of this is fashion.

The prevailing system of the fashion industry has created many environmental problems caused by pollutant emissions of toxic dyes, pesticides used in manufacturing and the processing of chemicals. All which have long­term consequences on waterways, agriculture as well as entire communities and then we are not even talking about the social impact of bad working conditions in the sector. These negative effects on the climate and natural resources are not necessary however. 

In order to make a change we can move from a man versus nature design to an approach in which we can learn from nature´s design. 

What can we learn from nature? 

What if we could make everything that is in your products so pure that we can recycle it and leave a positive legacy behind?The majority of the modern fashion industry and designs are still based on the linear perception or idea of the purpose of fabrics: We produce products, use them and throw waste away. Not taking into account nature's delicacy and interconnectedness. At Tshared we are interested in how we can shape the world by changing the way we think about fashion and move a Zero Waste and Circular Economy: From Seed to Tee,to Seed. See my previous blog.Did you know that nature thinks in multiple circles?

Learning to go circular from nature Let's take a look at nature: 

● In nature waste is food,demonstrating abundance in it's purest form. 

As described in the book Cradle to Cradle (2002) of which by the way, the plastic pages can be reused; click here for the book; if you: 'Take a look at nature you’ll see that growth is not only good, but necessary — that nature’s very abundance is what environmentalists (and the rest of us) depend on and celebrate. The key is the right kind of growth — and the key to that is better design.­ 

William McDonough & Michael Braungart. C2C: By Erdemli Dongu Circular Economy, Life­Cycles of an Industrial product 

● Better design would also mean cradle to cradle. As described by Stef Kranendijk, former CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Desso (the European carpet and sports systems manufacturer): 'Waste becomes fruit for other products.' 

We can work with plant dyes or pigments made from microalgae that produce a rich variety of green­brown, red, and blue hues? And what about fabrics made from micro organisms? Vleath for example is a promising example of a vegan leather made through the fermentation process in the drink Kombucha. Read more about these materials here.

Current flaws in fashion design however prevent pieces from being reused and recycled. We have to therefore: Rethink garments before they are designed in order to be able to close the loop and make products that are easy recycle. An example brand that is using better design is MuD Jeans. If you have any problem with your jeans you can send them back to them and they will be fixed, upcycled or recycled. They can sell the same jeans twice. Not a bad idea is it? And did you know that even petroleum oil can be used over and over again? While it is normally burnt? Technology has created many possibilities to turn the negative effect of fashion around. 

But why not imitate nature and think in multiple circles? Wear ­ Recycle – Repeat. As described by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: “The circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by intention; aims to rely on renewable energy; minimise, tracks and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals; and eradicates waste through careful design.Close the loop.

But materials and products that are easy to disassemble and endlessly recyclable only become a solution when consumers understand that every penny they spend supports an entire system.You can spend it on Fair trade products OR on products made by exploited workers. WE decide which system we choose to support. Cultural changes, together with legislation are therefore important things that also have to change. 

What do you think are the areas in which the biggest gains can be made? 

We think it is important for companies to be 100% transparent about the items they produce. And would like to know what products and companies you support in your effort to create a more sustainable economy? 

Share them with us by using the hashtags: #Tshared & #Closingtheloopcircularfashion Let's join hands for a circular economy and a Wasteless Future! 

PS. If you are interested, you can calculate your own footprint here:

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