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Updated: Oct 18, 2023

In the age of fast fashion some businesses are undertaking creative ways of reusing fabrics. Taking up from choosing sustainable fabrics in the previous blog let us talk about preowned and upcycled fabrics this time.

Preowned clothes

A lot of resources go into making clothes. When we chose to buy from the reused clothing stores we are saving a lot of resources (like water, CO2 emissions, toxic chemicals) that would have gone in manufacturing new clothes, we are saving these clothes from going to landfills and saving money at the same time as they sell for much cheaper than the new ones. Often the clothes sold at such stores are never worn or worn only few times and one cannot even make out that they are preowned. If you have an eye for high end fashion brands you can get yourself a steal. It is however an idea some of us are uncomfortable with. For those who don’t mind it is a great option. From 2013 to 2018, clothing resale market has doubled and steadily growing. It is not just in the US. Retold and Garderobe are two such stores here in Dubai.

Upcycled clothes

Clothing manufacturers are left with uneven, left over pieces of fabrics which are designed into new clothes, bags, scarves, shoes rugs etc. Upcycling uplifts the value of a waste fabric by overhauling it creatively. Sometimes used fabrics can also be upcycled. Baby boomers and millennials might remember how old sarees were made into soft blankets, bags were made from old pair of jeans or sometimes curtains. That’s upcycling. It saves fabrics from being dumped in landfills and reduces need for new fabric. The internet is full of different brands that upcycle.

Recycled synthetic clothes (We don’t call them Eco friendly)

These are clothes made from recycling used PET bottles. Let us not get confused here. The process is low in carbon footprint and hence marketed as green. But the bottom line is, there should not be as many plastic bottles in the first place. These synthetic fabrics produce microplastics every time we wear or wash them. Microplastics are also a very challenging environmental concern.

Check our blog about micro plastics here

In our opinion using tones of plastic bottles and then re-purposing them for fabrics to wear is just going to worsen the crisis in the long run!

Fashion industry is believed to cause more pollution than even airlines industry, all thanks to fast fashion. Over production of clothes are filling our landfills at an alarming rate. About 80% of all the textile manufactured is land filled or incinerated.

Think about it… At every stage of manufacturing both renewable and nonrenewable resources are used, polluting gasses might be released, right from using fertilizers, pesticides and water for growing trees to using tones of toxic chemicals during manufacturing and transporting the product to our favorite stores. Fast fashion leads to dumping these fabrics within 1 year.

  • Reuse your clothes as much as possible.

  • Get ready in a more responsible way every morning.

  • Think of a way to keep using clothes for longer buy donating or reselling them.

  • Buy sustainable fabrics like Linen, Organic Khadi, organic cotton, organic silk, Tencel etc

  • Buy long lasting, quality clothes.

  • Think NEED VS WANT while shopping.



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