Are you worried about the traceability of the clothes you buy? Ever wondered what happens to the fabrics that are discarded in the manufacturing process? Offcuts, the remains of yarn and excess materials from the production of fabrics like home textiles ends up as waste. It is estimated that around 90% of this waste ends up in landfills. Less than 10% is deposited in containers for recycling and reuse. This pre-consumer waste is a main source for recycled cotton, a highly sustainable and natural fibre generated from the conversion of this waste fabric into new yarns that can be turned into amazing new textiles. The other source of waste is discarded post-consumer fabrics that get sent for recycling.
Here at Verdonce we use GRS* Certified recycled cotton sourced from a local supplier. You might be surprised to learn Spain is a world leader in this key area of the circular economy. Read on to find out more.
*Global Recycling Standard.
Today we want to tell you about 5 amazing benefits of using recycled cotton. We are so excited about this innovative fabric! We are sure that when you discover the benefits you’ll be singing its praises too. It’s simply one of the most responsible and fair options available!
1. You save huge amounts of water
Did you know that every tonne of recycled cotton saves 765,000 litres of water? This is one of its biggest strengths. Recycled cotton vastly reduces water consumption, CO2 emissions and the use of chemicals in the textile industry.
Although recycled cotton still goes a little unnoticed due to the rise of organic cotton, it has massive potential. Why is it so appealing? While organic cotton is grown without pesticides or fertilizers, and therefore contributes to preserving the well-being of the soil and biodiversity, its cultivation and harvesting process are intensive in the use of water and energy. This can be avoided with the consumption of recycled cotton. This is not in anyway a dig at organic cotton, as organic cotton can be recycled just like any other virgin cotton. However, recycled cotton is a highly sustainable and ecological option
It may surprise you but in Spain we are pioneers in this practice. The winner of the 2020 National Award for the Fashion Industry, Hilaturas Ferré, has been manufacturing high-quality yarn using recycled cotton fibres since 1947.
2. You give unused fabrics a new life
The process of recycling fibre from existing fabric is not an easy task. Firstly, the fabrics are sorted by colour. Next, a machine shreds them into raw fibre. This is one of the most delicate phases since it is very common for fibres to break or tangle. Finally, those yarns obtained are spun into reels to be reused in the production of new garments.
As you can imagine, the properties of recycled fibres are different from the original. Both the length and uniformity are affected. This limits its application especially in the fashion industry. Hence it is often mixed with organic cotton, recycled polyester or tencel to make more resistant and durable garments. However, if you mix it with synthetics is impossible to recycle it again and it is not biodegradable.
So at Verdonce, we made the important decision to only use 100% recycled cotton in our collection like our aprons, slow living bags, or produce bags. That way, they are truly circular, can be easily separated and recycled again.
Find out more about the natural vegan fibres that we use in our sustainable collection.
3. You save big on CO2 emissions and fossil fuels
The figures are worrying. Recent studies confirm that approximately 600g of oil is consumed and 2kg of CO2 are emitted for every single kilogramme of textile produced! This does not happen in the production of recycled cotton. The process does not harm the environment since it does not use virgin cotton, aggressive dyes or chemicals. Fabrics are grouped by colours in order to avoid one of the most polluting processes of the textile industry: dying.
According to data from the Fashion Revolution movement, 95% of the clothing that is discarded could be reused and around 15% of the millions of fabrics that are manufactured annually are discarded and thrown in landfills where they possibly end up being burned. Is it in your power to reduce these percentages? Definitely. There are more and more options to curb the amount of tonnes of waste that the industry produces and one of them is to buy garments made from recycled fibers.
4. You are backing ethical and conscientious fashion
Is it time to rethink the way you consume and reflect on the lifestyle you lead? Is it necessary to buy new clothes every month? We all like to indulge ourselves from time to time though. So when renewing it is important to be aware of what you are buying and how it was made.
First, acquire good quality and look for second hand options. Take care of your garments and get the most out of them. When buying new, opt for brands with a positive impact on the planet, those that have admirable values in their DNA. You do not have to look far away. Support local, independant commerce and shop in your neighbourhood.
Totes and shoppers
5. You are contributing to the circular economy revolution
Circular fashion is a must. We are immersed in a linear system that draws resources from nature to transform them into products whose useful life ends up being very short due to trends and the fast fashion industry. In short, an unsustainable system that is crying out to be re-designed towards a circular model. Used products are no longer deemed useless and can have another life through upcycling, recycling, composting or safely biodegraded. This way they make it back to the productive circuit.
We encourage you to react. We are all agents of change, we can make this world a fairer and more sustainable place with our daily actions, especially with our purchases.
Does recycled cotton convince you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.