Clothing brands stitch biodegradability
The Future. Clothing retailers are testing out biodegradable clothing to cut down on the waste created by the textile industry. While the process of composting clothes is still filled with red tape, logistical headaches, and higher price points, customers who want to make their fashion consumption more circular may be willing to spend more money on less clothing to make biodegradability a trend.
From closet to compost
Some clothes were just made for the trash heap, according to Fast Company.
- New brands such as Stripe & Stare, Harvest & Mill, and Sustain and mainstream retailers like H&M and Stella McCartney are creating biodegradable clothing that can be composted.
- That involves not just making the fabric from organic textiles but ensuring that the dye and stitching are also compostable.
- Also, the clothes can’t be made with any forever chemicals used for de-wrinkling or waterproofing.
The process of composting — the act of recycling organic matter to be turned into fertilizer — doesn’t produce any methane, which is revolutionary for an industry responsible for 8% of all global carbon emissions, according to the UN.
Unfortunately, composting clothes is a complicated process because most places don’t accept them — they’re not built for clothes, and parsing through garments to make sure they truly are recyclable is a laborious process.
That means companies may need to be the ones that set up “take-back” composting programs (which Harvest & Mill hopes to do), or governments need to legislate uniform composting standards.
With only 15% of clothing in the US being recycled, we have a long way to go.