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What are the impacts of recycled fibres?

The European Outdoor Group is pioneering a new project seeking to compare the impacts of recycled and virgin polyester and nylon on synthetic textile microfibre pollution; as well as a separate project that examines textile coloration.

The two new textiles projects will be trialled with partner mills in Taiwan, and will be managed by UK-based consultancy biov8tion on behalf of the Outdoor Industry Microfibre Consortium. The latter is a part of the European Outdoor Group.

The results of both projects are expected to be revealed at the ISPO sportswear event in Munich in January 2019.

One must bear in mind that an estimated 190 000 tons of fibres from polyester, acrylic and nylon enter the world’s marine ecosystem through washing machine wastewater each year, argues a report from Eunomia Research & Consulting.

Alle eyes on fibres

Meanwhile, US retailer Target has pledged to invest US$ 1 million in post-consumer textile recycling technologies by 2020. Also, US fashion firm VF Corporation has revealed plans to train all of its product designers based in Europe in circular economy principles in a bid to boost the amount of second-hand garments and footwear collected at European owned and operated Timberland and The North Facestores by 10% in the next two years.

The dawn of ‘slow fashion’?

A striking headline when it comes to ‘reuse’ is the following: a 125-year-old pair of jeans by Levi’s  – which failed to sell at auction in 2016 – has been sold for nearly US$ 100 000 to a vintage denim fan from Southeast Asia just last week

Indeed, fashion does not need to have such an extremely short shelf life, notes Jane Milburn, social activist and author of the new book “Slow clothing – Finding meaning in what we wear”. Born in Australia, she points out that her fellow countrymen purchase no less than 27 kg worth of new clothes every year, while sending some 23 kg to landfill.

To counter this consumption trend, the author advocates exploring vintage shops, mending existing items, supporting local small business owners, crafting personal styles, and to customise pieces after they have lost their appeal.

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