From shop floor to…trash can?
Where do all the unsold clothes from the high street actually go? This is a topic that we have been thinking about for a while. An estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year in the UK alone. The truth is that dead inventory is a hefty encumbrance on fashion giants like H&M who are reportedly dealing with huge amounts of unsold clothes, $4.3 billion to be exact. What was once a money making dream machine as they profited off their ability to generate rapid translations of runway fashions into low priced imitations is now a logistical nightmare as the challenge around offering trendy apparel before it goes out of style mounts.
Currently, over 5% of the UK’s total annual carbon and water footprints result from clothing consumption. Statistics like this are encouraging the early stages of a global “Sustainability Revolution”. As the climate change topic gathers momentum more and more consumers are opting for sustainable products. According to a recent Unilever study, a third of consumers are now choosing brands based on their environmental impact and ecological ethics.
By nature, corporate fashion is more sustainable, as there is a strong focus on continuity and durability which lessens the need for frequent disposability. At Fashionizer we try and incorporate fashion trends into longer term solutions and our designs are always a combination of fashion inspiration with the project environment, colours and operational requirements.
We believe we also have a responsibility not to feed the churning jaws of the landfills and we already champion this by using some upcycled fabrics. Our bespoke model also means that most of what we produce is according to our client’s requirements and as a result we do not have huge amounts of unsold stock to dispose of. But the textile waste story goes deeper and as an industry there is scope to reduce our carbon footprint further.
In the coming months we will be asking a selection of the UK’s top hotels how they are recycling their sheets, towels and used uniforms. We will come back to you with our findings and ideas on how we can continue to reduce textile waste. If you are interested in participating in our survey please click here.