There’s a fashion revolution happening… can you feel it? Thanks to consumer pressure, many fashion manufacturers are finding ways to protect the environment, or at least reduce the damage that the fast fashion industry causes. It’s not a majority of manufacturers- but given the trend we may see it become more and more common in the coming years. The question is can we make a change before it’s too late? The good news is that YOU can be part of the change, just like Tad More Tailoring.
Our mission at Tad More Tailoring is to improve the fashion industry with every stitch. What do we mean by that? Let’s take a look at our vision of success: “We will unravel the negative environmental effects of fast fashion while saving customers time and money by providing top quality, affordable alterations nationwide.” We do this in several ways. The most obvious way is that we help you to wear the clothes that you already own longer by repairing them or refitting them as your body changes. This is a circular business model based on increasing the use of a product per user. By repairing what you own, you don’t throw them away and purchase new items. Studies have shown that by doubling the life of clothing from one to two years, we can help reduce emissions from clothing production and disposal by as much as 24%.
The next way that we accomplish our mission and vision is by encouraging clothing recycling. Did you know that we have a “Recycle Rewards” program that gives you $1 off your order per item purchased from a thrift store (thrift store tags intact or receipt must be presented) when you bring in the item to have it altered? This allows the garment to have new life and keeps you from having to purchase newly manufactured clothing, creating a win-win situation for both the environment and you. Not to mention, by purchasing clothing from thrift stores and having it fitted to you, you spend less money while getting a better fit!
This is the circular model based on more users per product, extending the life of a product even further, and still delaying the purchase of newly manufactured clothing.
You’re probably wondering what we have against the fashion industry if we’re part of it, right? It turns out that the fashion industry is terrible for the environment and society in almost every way possible. Here are a few examples:
- Cotton, which is in most of our clothing, consumes more water per acre than any other crops. Even though cotton farms only make up about 2% of the land used for crop production, it accounts for more than 25% of the insecticide and pesticide used.
- Textile and clothing manufacturers in places like China are notorious for extremely poor working conditions, unlivable wages for employees (if they get paid beyond a bed to sleep on), child labor, and unsafe buildings. Nearly one-third of all clothing is imported from China.
- It is estimated that 70 percent of Asia’s rivers and lakes are contaminated by the 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater produced by their textile industry. When you consider that the US imports more than $150 billion worth of food, feeds, and beverages from China each year, that contamination begins to hit home even more.
There are many more examples, but let’s talk about some of the good news too.
- Denim manufacturers like Levis are embracing new biotechnology to dye fabrics in a way that reduces the toxic waste to zero.
- Methods have been developed to give the distressed look to jeans using lasers instead of the toxic chemicals sprayed on the fabric in current manufacturing processes. As these forms of technology become more available and affordable, we can be hopeful that increased numbers of clothing manufacturers will choose these options.
When we look at the negative environmental effects of the fashion industry, it can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to be helpless in the fight, by simply elongating the life of your clothing through tailoring and thrifting your new wardrobe, you can start to change the fashion industry for the better.