I'll never forget the day I learned that an estimated 85% of textiles, including unsold clothing, is dumped into landfills or burned! The fast-fashion trend is a major contributor to this problem. It is also estimated that the average American throws away about 81 pounds of clothes every year -- that's the average weight of an 11-year-old child, and that's only in the United States. To give you an idea of how big this issue is globally, imagine a garbage truck completely full with textiles and clothing, being thrown into our landfills every single second of the day, and every single day of the year.
So Why Not Donate or Recycle All of Our Clothes?
Even if we tried to donate or recycle all of our old clothes, it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of these textiles, roughly 60%, are not recyclable. This is why they end up in landfills and sometimes burned. So many of our clothes are made of synthetic fibers called PET or polyethylene terephthalate, also commonly known as polyester, nylon, acrylic and several others. These fibers and textiles are made from crude oil, which makes them almost impossible to reuse in other ways and they cannot be recycled or composed. There are numerous eco-friendly fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, cork, bamboo, eucalyptus, and beech trees, that could replace plastics in our textiles, but because there are no restrictions or laws, the fashion industry continues to use plastic fibers in our clothes.
The Growing Overstock Problem.
A lot of the clothing and textile waste comes from manufacturers and from clothing retailers themselves. Manufacturers overproduce the supply of clothing, and retailers end up overstocked. The pandemic has made this issue much worse in recent years. Plus, the seasons continue to change, as they always do, the unsold seasonal supply ends up thrown away to the landfills. Manufacturers are in control of what fibers they use in their textiles, and they are in control of how much product they produce. The fashion industry overproduces products by about 30-40% each season while contributing to about 10% of all global carbon emissions. Clothing manufacturers are the second worst offender in terms of water and plastic pollution. Remember the plastic fibers in your clothes I mentioned above? Our clothes are eventually contributing to the micro plastics in our oceans, harming marine life while also contributing to the climate changes. Clearly, textile overproduction is harming our planet.
That brings us to the launch of Active Joy Boutique. Even though I cannot rescue every single piece of clothing that is headed to the landfills, my team and I are trying to rescue a huge amount of high-quality activewear brands we love and pass a huge savings along to you.