What's your waste size?
We buy a lot of clothing. In 2015, the average American spent more on apparel than education, charity or household equipment. And in a world dominated by "fast fashion," or where instead of four seasons, clothing empires pump out 11 or 12, clothes are low-quality and not made to last.
When Susty Clothing founder, LeeAna, saw all the textiles that were wasted in her workplace - even those just from approval samples - she was actually pretty grossed out. It was overwhelming to imagine this at a greater scale in factories all over the world. In fact, the fashion industry produces a ton of waste, mostly in the form of discarded clothing and scraps. Estimates vary, but in the U.S. alone, we discard about 21 billion pounds of textiles in landfills (about 70 pounds per person), and only about 3.8 billion pounds are donated or recycled.
There are other negative environmental impacts aside from waste. In a report by Greenpeace, the suppliers of several major brands such as Nike, H&M, Lacoste and Converse were linked to pouring toxic textile dyes into Chinese rivers, causing serious health and environmental effects. Also, it takes a lot of water to produce textiles. A pair of jeans takes about 2,900 gallons of water, used to water cotton crops, to dye jeans blue, to several water treatments used to test the chemical composition used in denim.
This unfortunate reality of the fashion industry is part of the inspiration for creating a closed loop tee at Susty Clothing. We are really excited to experiment and innovate how we upcycle fashion to become the more sustainable and healthier option. Every Susty Clothing tee is bought second hand and silkscreened with soy-based, eco-friendly inks. And we think they are pretty cute too. Although fashion may currently come with its share of problems that need to be addressed, we believe in transforming our future one tee at a time.
Written by: LeeAna & Rochelle