Sustainability @ Bombus: Waste

Sustainability @ Bombus: Waste

Waste is a MASSIVE issue in the fashion industry. We produce a staggering 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year - 200,000+ tonnes of which we here in the UK are responsible for. 

With that much waste being created by the industry it just makes sense that here at Bombus I aim to ensure I'm not creating demand for new fabrics. I'm just one small business, one person, but that isn't going to stop me from doing my part to tackle this scarily big issue within fashion. 

A few of the ways I pan to do that this year include:

✅ Raiding friends' & family's wardrobes for unused clothing

✅ Clothing donation basket in office space

✅ Zero waste cutting & design

✅ Using any scraps I do gave to make patchwork for later projects

✅ Repair services & free repairs on all bags & clothing made by Bombus

❌ Not creating demand for new fabrics by ONLY using current fabrics I own or discarded or donated textiles. (I have some gorgeous natural dyed cotton on the way and then I'm going cold turkey) 

So... This year is going to be difficult, right? Scrambling for fabric? Nope. In fact, with the wardrobes I've already raided and donations I easily have enough material for the next year. I have plans for a whole denim collection, a range of bomber jackets from old ripstop and I know I've got material to do a handful of other drops too. 

I was a little surprised at how quickly I got enough material for my next year as a business but I really shouldn't have been. The UK sends £140 million worth of clothing to landfill each year - of course it only took me raiding a few families members wardrobes and a handful of donations to get a year supply of fabric.

While I'm pleased to save these items from landfill and extend the lifespan of these textiles, it's honestly horrifying that it was so much from a handful of people. I'm not putting them down. A lot of the items couldn't be used anymore, needing repairs or no longer fitting. What's scary is the industry is content for their garments to fall apart, get thrown and another get brought. 

I've mention what I'm doing as a business to do my bit to lower waste. If you're wondering what you can do as a consumer, here's a few tips. 

✅ Wear the hell out of your current wardrobe everyday clothes. The most sustainable thing is to wear what you already own. If the lifespan of all clothes increased by just nine months then the carbon, water and waste footprint of clothing would be 20-30% lower.

❌ Don't buy anything new unless you need to. 

✅ Opt for second hand, up/recycled and small businesses when you do buy. 

❌ Don't feel guilty if you do need to buy something new & you're forced to buy fast fashion due to finances, sizing or any other reason. The industry is responsible for its lack of ethically produced clothing, not you. 

✅ Swap what you don't want. Swap with friends or google local fashion swap events. 

No one person is going to solve the waste issue but if we all do what we can and help change the mindset and demand around clothing then it'll make a huge difference.

Thanks for reading this brief look into waste in the industry. If you're interested to know more about what I'm currently doing with all the clothing and textiles I've collection go check out @bombus.artisanal on instagram.

-Amber :)

(Source for stats and waste info)

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