The Importance of Sustainable Textiles
Textile waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world today. It is said that the average North American throws away over 81Lbs (37kg) of textile waste every single year. That amounts to over 25 billion tonnes per year in the US alone.
Not only are the actual textiles harmful to our environment as they enter landfills to stay there forever, but the process in which textiles are made is also detrimental to our environment.
How the Textile Industry Effects Our Water
The textile industry in the European Union alone uses 79 billion cubic metres of water every year. That's 79 BILLION!
Did you know that it takes roughly 2,700 litres of water to produce one t-shirt? That's the equivalent to enough drinking water for one person for two and a half years. Crazy right? You could either have a t-shirt that might last you for a couple years... or you could have essential, life sustaining water to drink. Which would you choose???
Did you know that textile dyeing and treatments make up almost 20% of the global industrial water pollution? How are companies continuing to use harmful dyes and chemicals when there are more environmentally friendly options?
It's not only water that is being effected with the over-creation of new textiles. It's said that one trillion kilowatt-hours are used every year by the global textile industry. This accounts for nearly 10% of the total global carbon impact.
With textiles being the largest growing waste sector in North America, we can't continue to close our eyes to the problem. We need to be able to re-imagine, re-purpose, re-design and re-use the textiles that already exist on our earth. We owe the effort future generations.
If you look at the chart below, you'll see that we are on a trajectory that needs to be stopped before the entire earth is covers in cloth. And that chart only addresses the clothing industry. If you think about all types of textiles - linens, shoes, bags, accessories, window coverings and clothing - we can't continue to ignore this problem. We need solutions!
How can you reduce your textile waste?
- buy second hand clothing
- take better care of your clothes (wash in cold & hang to dry)
- shop from eco-conscious brands
- reimagine your clothes by altering them when you no longer love them
- make wash cloths and napkins from your old towels and tea towels
- gift gently used kids clothing to new moms
- turn old baby blankets into kids cloth napkins
- makes reusable shopping bags from old sheets & table cloths
- BUY LESS and REUSE MORE
At Love My Mat we source all of our fabrics from thrift shops and fabric liquidators to avoid contributing to the harmful textile waste industry. We use as many of our scraps as possible and make products that last for years and years.
We are currently working on even more ways to reduce our textile waste and help you reduce too! Stay tuned as we work on adding more home goods to our line of sustainable products. Love My Home is coming soon and you don't want to miss what we have in store for you.