Recycling and Reuse of Fashion: A Way to Sustainable Environment

Recycling and Reuse of Fashion: A Way to Sustainable Environment

Chand Prakash Saini (SGT University, Gurugram, India), M. K. Nair (SGT University, Gurugram, India), and K. Tara Shankar (SGT University, Gurugram, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2728-3.ch006
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The chapter examines the role of recycling and reuse of fashion in order to achieve environmental sustainability. The chapter supports its conclusion by various reports that recycling of textile waste can be solutions to many environmental issues caused by fast fashion. However, textile recycling is an old term; in recent years, it has gained attention again due to fast fashion culture in significant parts of the world, which has resulted in overconsumption of textiles and led to waste generation. Waste recycling has become a multibillion industry. New ways are being created in terms of the development of sorting machines, design inputs, and innovative high-value products to make recycling a profitable proposition. The chapter also highlights how the second-hand market of clothes and the internet as a facilitator can help in reducing textile waste.
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1. Introduction

Fashion is a word all are obsessed with, whenever one talks about fashion, trend, fast fashion, the other party immediately jumps into the discussion to give every insight of one's understanding. We, all around the globe want to be recognised by our style, and fashion adds to our style, for the same we wish to have new apparel, accessories every time we make our social presence. Also, this presence should be without repeating the ones we have already been into. As a marketer, this is an excellent opportunity for grabbing the market share, as a consumer also this act as a differentiator but if the same is to be noticed for society at large, this is not a very motivating phenomenon. The apparent reason is that adverse effects on the environment and a large number of manufacturers of low-price garments are involved in the production. The report estimates India’s apparel market will be worth $59.3 billion in 2022, making it the sixth-largest in the world, and comparable to the UK ($65 billion) and Germany ($63.1 billion), according to data from McKinsey’s Fashion Scope (2019). The aggregate income of the addressable population (individuals with over $9,500 in annual income) is expected to triple between now and 2025 (McKinsey & Company 2019). The reason behind the same is waste fashion material which no individual wants to use, i.e. dress material once used are neither reused nor recycled in 75% of the cases IPCC (2000).

Adverse effects of non-recycling can be explained by depletion of natural resources, production of solid waste, generation of wastewater, exploitation of labour amount of noxious chemical being used and cause of economic problems by a genetical modification of seeds (UNEP, 2007).

1.1 Fashion as an Indiscriminate Disposable Habit

Stiff competition in the fashion industry has led the manufacturers to produce clothes at an increasingly lower price which motivates the customer to buy it and to use only once (Claudio, 2007). Some of the industry experts call the ‘fast fashion' as same that of fast food. The worst that this ‘fast fashion' has done is that it has motivated the customers of fashion neither to use nor to dispose of. This all result in higher consumption of fashionable goods, and at present, it is a double-edged sword, favourable for the economy but dangerous for the environment, as it has increased the problem of textile disposal (Jana, 2006).

1.2 Types of Textile Waste

Following are the three types…

1.2.1 Pre-Consumer Textile Waste

Manufacturing waste during the processing of fibres (both natural and synthetic) and production of finished yarn and textile usually produces waste parallel, which is termed as Pre-consumer textile waste. Pre-consumer textile waste is usually “clean waste”. In most of the cases pre-consumer textile waste is usually “Clean waste”, most of the firms either manage the disposal of the same themselves or pay fee against the dumped part of the waste.

1.2.2 Post-Consumer Textile Waste

As the name suggests this type of waste is created when any garment or household textile is no longer in use and customer decide to discard because of any of the reasons like worn out, size issue, out of fashion. This category allows identifying and selecting the garment which can easily be reused or recycled and much of which can be sold to third world nation. Another smart way to reduce can be shredding into fibre and to use the fibre in similar products.

1.2.3 Industrial Textile Waste

Commercial waste generated from the waste of hospitals, carpet and curtain industries are considered as commercial and industrial waste. This waste is “Dirty waste” and is the real cause of the environmental problem.

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