Three students went with me to the Texworld USA Trade Show, Wednesday (July 24, 2019).
We attended two seminars. The second seminar we attended was US Trade Policy: sourcing Strategies and Future Outlook for Fashion Brands and Retailers. Facts from the second seminar will be presented in the next post on this blog.
This post presents what we learned at the first seminar:
Upcycling: Exploring Options in Today’s Landscape and How Brands and Individuals Can Make a Difference
Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upcycling
We heard different organizations involved in some aspect of upcycling discuss what options and opportunities are available to both brands and individuals to be better stewards of reducing our environmental impact.
Here are paraphrased comments from the panel:
The idea that the product is going to be sold again is a little disheartening for many manufacturers. This is already happening with cars and electronics.
85% of clothing is still going to landfills. 70% of the world buys used clothing. Much of US clothing is too large for the rest of the world.
Large men’s jeans are now being made into aprons. Large winter jackets are largely a waste. Helpsy is now providing used warm winter jackets here in the USA.
The supply chain needs to be reversed. There are bins for people to recycle. We kept 20 million pounds of clothes out of the trash last year.
Brands have to wrap their heads around sustainability and value the environment over their brand. Brand is being sold second hand – it can’t be stopped. We are over consuming and over producing.
It’s a big challenge [to convince manufacturers that their products need to be recyclable].
Good design means no waste.
Big companies have to come on board soon.
About 45 companies globally are working on recycling. We realized what we did to the planet. We want to use something as long as possible, then hopefully recycle it.
90% of the companies don’t know about the recycling that is going on.
The biggest global problem is poverty. Industry and human rights need to come together. There are no laws to protect the ocean [where trash often winds up].
When upcycling, the artist must design a really beautiful product. Investing in just a little more care pays off.
She referred us to Etsy and the beautiful items found there that are made from recycled materials. She wore a beautiful butterfly bracelet that had been made from recycled parts from computers.
Hit the MVI 4815 link above to see the youngest model at the show.
More about the Worldtex Show will be posted next week.
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2019.