World needs wardrobe change for waste-free fashion


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53 million tonnes of both natural and synthetic fibres are now produced for clothing annually – using up huge amounts of land and fossil fuels. 12% of these fibres are wasted at the production phase and 73% of all textiles end up in landfill or incineration.

Speaking at a special side session on textiles, Eline Boon from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation described the current fashion economic model as “extremely wasteful and polluting” as based on the idea that we “take resources from the ground, make something, and then dispose of them soon after”.

Boon said clothes need to be designed better so that they last longer, and that the dangerous chemicals used in textile production, which make recycling textiles harder, should be phased out.

There were also calls for more research into how to solve the problem of the half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres which are shed into our environment when used and washed.

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