Food for Thought: Fashion Industry Waste


My personal research/study for TAFE and as a teacher has really raised my awareness for sustainability issues surrounding the Fashion industry. In particular the waste created at different stages of a products life. It really got me thinking about how that applies to us as crafters/dressmakers/quilters, and how other creatives are tackling the issue.

In terms of waste, on the consumer end of the spectrum, recycling and thrifting (or op-shopping) clothing has seen a huge increase in recent years, and its seems that vintage this and handmade that are everywhere you look online (aaand there is nothing wrong with that in my eyes!)This type of waste recycling is aptly categorised as post-consumer waste recycling, so, the waste created after we the consumer has used the product. (duh)

So, while the Post-consumer side of things seems to be getting all the attention, what about the other end of the spectrum? What happens to the tonnes of fabrics, dyes, samples, trimmings and threads which are left over at the end of a products manufacturing cycle? This is the pre-consumer side of the fashion industry which all too often gets forgotten about, or left out of the limelight. This is simply because, especially for an Australian, very little of what we consume is actually made in Australia. Therefore the factories in say, China or India which meet our every demand are hard to monitor, or even gain access to. The harsh truth of it is that the vast majority of these remnants will end up in landfill or incinerated. It’s a wonder more isn’t being done on the issue, especially when the most heavily produced fibres, such as cotton and polyester, are draining natural resources at an alarming rate, and will soon be too expensive to create or grow (more on the in future posts).

I’ve mentioned Hooked Zpagetti on here before (and please note I am in no way affiliated with them or being compensated to mention them on my blog, I just appreciate what they are doing) but to simply recap, their yarns are made from Fashion industry, pre-consumer, remnants. Which I think is pretty awesome, it’s a little less fabric going to waste.

So what does this mean for us as crafters? Consumers?

So, that’s some food for thought,


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