6 Ways People Are Fighting Fashion Industry Waste | World Wide Waste | Business Insider

6 Ways People Are Fighting Fashion Industry Waste | World Wide Waste | Business Insider

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from Making art out of old flip-flops or leather out of fish skins to selling clothes in one of the world's largest secondhand markets businesses everywhere are trying to reduce garbage from the fashion industry Americans alone throw out 11 million tons of clothing in 2018 that's more than 65 pounds per person here are some ideas on how to cut down on textile waste a company called iktio spent three years figuring out how to transform leftover fish skins into durable leather and now brands are turning this Marine leather into wallets watch straps and other products that don't smell like fish I don't have to be used to the smell because we fixed this issue very early ikeos gets most of its fish from local sushi restaurants the Only Rule for lectures is that the fish needs to be eaten if it's not eaten we do not transform it so we'll never collect Ides coming from a special raising of animal for the highs in a typical week this restaurant creates up to 60 fish skins and it used to throw them all away they go directly to the beam unfortunately we have no other solution than classic rubbish collection now it saves them in the freezer until ikeos does its weekly pickup [Music] at the production facility the first step is removing any leftover flesh from the defrosted skins ichthyos gives these scraps to another company that compost them into fertilizer [Music] the team sorts the Skins by size and refreezes them then drops the Frozen blocks in this rotating drum tossing the Skins around removes most of the scales while water and chemicals clean them so it's a bit like soaps that we use to get all the fats out of the skin that part is key because the fats are what make the fish skin smell fishy early samples of the fish leather skip this step and people noticed the answer was like well it's crazy it's so beautiful it's very interesting but it's a bit smelly the skin spin through the drum again this time with tannins that will strengthen them and help color stick these tannins come from vegetables many sources of vegetable contain polyphenol which has the ability to transform a hide into a leather vegetable tanning actually goes back thousands of years but more dangerous chemical methods became dominant over the 20th century the team flattens out the skins then they drape them on a rack and wait for the tannins to soak in foreign the Skins go through this machine which weakens fibers so the leather will be softer now it's time to add color workers soak the skins in the first round of dyeing then lay them flat again and begin another series of drying steps then they stretch them by pinning them to metal plates for about a day we stretch it as far as we can so that we can have the maximum surface on the ladder at this point it feels like a thinner version of traditional leather it's a little bit like snake leather when you look at the grain the aesthetic the leather can now be sprayed with dye for its final shade and a finishing coat you can finish the Leather by applying several dyes and resin on the leather so it will brings protection and a brightness to the leather the spray also contains natural oils that help smooth out the surface is this is the final product the Marine Leathers are today a little bit more expensive than the classic Leathers but cheaper than the Exotic Leathers like snakes like crocodile horses the tricky part is the size you will never get a salmon as big as a cow it's a good news I think well the main problem with cow leather is that the chemicals often used to tenant are highly toxic most tanneries use chromium to strengthen hides into leather it's a heavy metal that can contaminate groundwater and make people sick the vegetable tannins ichthyos uses replace that toxic ingredient but the founders say the main benefit is keeping the fish out of the trash and out of landfills where they would create methane as they broke down the fact that fishkin is today a waste this is more ecological we already saved 20 tons of fish skins there's still a long way to go France alone tosses more than 200 000 metric tons of fish skins every year so the founders hope to scale up and in the meantime they want to inspire other businesses to put some skin in the game wastes are a new way to find raw materials it's not an ugly way it's not a smelly way it's a sense for sourcing other companies are taking steps to clean up waste created by what people wear on their feet the team of sculptors at ocean soul in Nairobi Kenya carves the most common Footwear on the planet into hippos giraffes whales and more and so far the company says it is cleaned up around 10 million sandals from beaches streets and landfills they cost like a dollar the problem with that is they break very easily so what you have is a huge Menace it flip-flops everywhere in fact in some parts of the world flip-flops make up nearly a quarter of ocean plastic can a team of hand carving Artisans make a dent in such a huge source of litter we went to Nairobi to see how ocean soul makes art using worldwide waste this style of sandal is some of the oldest Footwear we have dating back thousands of years as plastic became cheaper toward the end of the 20th century foam flip-flops took off today we make over 1 billion of them every year but most don't last long that means a lot of flip-flops end up in landfills and water weights in Kenya the coasts are often littered with them so Treasures come from even as far as from India Philippines to over here so sometimes there are we are shocked we have a network of collectors that collect flip-flops from our weekly Beach cleanup efforts at the coast of Kenya when you bring the flip-flops to us we pay you an equivalent of 30 cents U.S per kilogram you'd need to back more than 25 pairs to make the minimum daily wage of a typical worker in Nairobi all told collectors usually bring in about one ton of flip-flops per week that's more than 3 000 sandals first the shoes go through a thorough hand wash using water and detergent we live in a very hot climate it takes probably two to three hours for them to dry and then our artists will come to pick them and use them to make the sculptures for small and medium sculptures workers die cut the flip-flops into templates thank you then use a non-toxic glue to bind the shoes together remember we're using a tiny flip-flop so you have to build up before you're able to carve down then our artists will carve them out into a finished product the company has around 90 employees many of their routers used to make traditional Kenyan wood carvings but that kind of work has dwindled since the early 2000s when Kenya scaled backlogging which made raw materials harder to come by when I used to do woodworking I never thought of dislocation of environment these are to say working with the softer material isn't too different from working with wood the knives and sanding tools are the same but you do get fewer splinters the end product will be a crab it detects almost two hours a complete a piece for larger pieces artists repurpose old insulation from shipping containers as a base and cover them with flip-flops and that's why with the bigger sculptures you'll notice that they have a contour look while with the smaller ones there's a stripy look nearly every part of the process is done by hand and it can take up to three months to complete some of the larger pieces when we so after they're done cutting with a knife they'll come here and sit down and use these setting machines to smoothen the sculptures I'm gonna walk out of here because it's too noisy the company keeps a stock of marine animals like turtles and whales in keeping with the clean ocean theme there's also Safari inspired carvings like elephants and giraffes which are the best sellers people say that they love them because of their Twisted necks and they also have beautiful eyelashes the sandal shavings get repurposed we have a shirt in the back that shreds them into smaller pieces like this and from here we're able to make mattresses that we donate to a refugee program in Northern Kenya next comes a quality control check the lady will make sure that you know the elephant has two ears two eyes one tail if anything is not right it's returned back to the artist where they will fix it then the statues are washed one more time before being shipped to their destinations foreign [Music] the company sells about a third of the pieces to shops museums aquariums and zoos around the world they're also sold online in a store in Northeast Florida and in gift shops around Nairobi occasionally ocean soul takes on special projects in 2019 we made a life-size car for a dealership in Alabama United States so that's the biggest piece we've ever made [Music] we used 4 500 flip-flops and that project took us about three to four months to complete [Applause] an Indian startup makes sneakers from garbage company that makes them says each pair contains 10 plastic bags and 12 bottles [Music] for 110 dollars they'll ship them anywhere in the world they clean the bags in a hot tub filled only with water without any added chemicals and then hang them out to dry inside the warehouse cyrudine Stacks 8 to 10 layers of bags at a time then places the pile under a heat press this finished product will cover most of the sneaker the company's founder calls it daily techs so it's a material that's made entirely out of waste plastic bags without the use of any chemicals cyberdeen and ships them seven hours North to the netouche Footwear factory that's where the shoe will be assembled first daily text sheets are die cut using metal forms other patterns are cut from our pet fabric which is made from recycled bottles and woven into something like canvas the workers stitched the two types of materials together the assembled upper gets stretched out daily souls are made with crumbs of Industrial Rubber a worker needs to rough the sole on this grinder so the glue added to the next step will adhere they coat the top of the sole with a clear glue a special UV light increases its stickiness the shoes go through a series of heat treatments and coats to strengthen the bond between the sole and the upper then comes the final round of stitching Bailey's laces are also made with recycled plastic fibers are made from old clothes it's part of a process that can turn nearly any used fabric into something brand new and fashion retailer h m bets this solution could eventually recycle some of the billions of tons of textile waste produced every year but can a fast fashion company solve the problem it helped create we went to Hong Kong and Sweden to find out most recycled textiles are turned into mattress stuffing or insulation and the original materials are scraps from the factory floor not used clothing but this facility inside a Hong Kong shopping mall is the first in the world to turn used clothes into new clothes all in one place first a technician like Emily Xiao examines the Garment so today we will recycle a old gamut this ozone chamber sanitizes the fabric in about an hour then Emily removes the buttons labels and zippers and cuts the Garment so the fabric is easy to work with the shredder strips the bits of cloth down further and then I will check out the open Fabrics but this part of the process does require some new materials so we're gonna add some other stronger another machine mixes that cotton with the Recycled skirt Emily then rolls the mixed fibers into clumps and feeds them into a machine that turns them into what's called a fiber web but what happens next makes the assembly line in Hong Kong the first of its kind the fiber web gets bundled into these snake-like slivers the slivers are then spun into ply yarn the building blocks of a new garment finally a machine knits a new sweater based on a computer design Shoppers pay about 65 dollars to recycle clothing here how do we help consumers think about their clothes differently well that's one of the reasons why we have a glass box doing research in a shopping mall the h m Foundation partnered with the Hong Kong Research Institute of textiles and apparel that investment allowed the company to license and install the technology at one of their stores in Stockholm where the company's headquartered h m calls it the loop here Shoppers pay only 18 dollars to see the recycling process in action that's about the price of a new pair of the brand sweatpants and then this is the only part that has to be reviewed Virginia the technician trims the extra yarn and the Garment is ready to go it takes three days to recycle one garment that seems like a lot of time and effort to turn a sweater into a new sweater that's because a factory like this that can recycle thousands of tons of clothes a day doesn't exist yet but h m says that eventually this kind of Technology could be a global solution for textile waste the Holy Grail is a garment to garment Recycling and that's for me where today most our investment going to but the fashion retailer continues to grow by selling cheap clothes to more and more people how often do you go and buy you maybe one time a week how big is the Wardrobe it's like maybe half of my partners well retail kings and queens she needs a walk-in closet yes and many of those cheap garments end up in one country in Africa welcome to one of the largest used clothing markets in the world it's estimated that Ghana's Continental Market handles more than 15 million garments every week the used clothes arrive from around the world many started out as donations about 30 000 people work here these days they struggle to make a living from cheaply made fast fashion brands more than a third of everything that enters continento leaves as waste it ends up in landfills and on beaches what we believe is that what you're seeing is a sliver of what is actually lying on the ocean floor now Ghana's capital is drowning in other people's cused clothes so how do the clothes end up here and why do so much of the leftovers become worldwide waste [Music] around 100 shipping containers filled with millions of garments arrive at the market every week they arrive in these bales that can weigh up to 125 pounds headquarters walk up to 10 miles on their busiest days carrying bales from the containers to the Stalls [Music] retailers buy bales for anywhere from 100 to 300 without knowing exactly what's inside Jeanette chirawa started selling clothes 12 years ago by the side of the road and saved enough money to rent her own shop in the market yeah Jeanette usually tries to sell the contents of one bale before buying another then it's a Race Against Time to move the inventory and try to make her money back the good stuff can sell for about 10 CDs that's about a dollar sixty a piece items made with cheaper Fabric or that have rips go for 16 cents Jeanette says prices of the Bales increase every month even though the quality of the clothes has declined so most weeks she can't sell everything from her Bales she's often in debt sometimes the money she makes barely covers a week's expenses [Music] Jeanette also partners with tailors like Nana to fixed hairs or resize a garment for a customer [Music] foreign for repairing the tear in her blouse other tailors buff shoes to change their color or Dye in starch denim jeans to make them look like new in another area workers steam press garments before they go on display see the way I'm squeezing my face the fire burns me they use coal to heat their irons then smooth a wet cloth over the Garment to create Steam all right become smooth the market is flooded with cheap garments from so-called fast fashion brands like marks and Spencer and Zara so every day many of the clothes that don't sell are dumped in Old Fatima it's a small community with a big landfill some piles of trash Tower over 30 feet taller than some buildings around here the dump is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that spread malaria and the water can spread cholera cloth is salt Waters so we just put some dust on top so that we should be able to step without cooking and what doesn't go to landfill often ends up at beaches like this one a mile away from continento very degraded today activists are tracking how clothing waste washes out to sea swept into the gutter system and then it'll tangle around itself it contributes to flooding which then causes a Public Health crisis and eventually though it will be pushed out to sea and it will make its way to the bottom of the ocean Liz Ricketts is the co-founder of the Orr Foundation a charity based in the U.S and Ghana it brings attention to Accra as one end of a wasteful supply chain so how do donated clothes end up here Americans often donate clothes to Charities like Goodwill or Salvation Army that later sell those in their stores for a low price but not everything sells so donation centers turn to exporters like bank and Vogue our business is very much like cleaning up the the beer cans at three o'clock in the morning Stephen Bethel sells clothes from the U.S Canada and Europe to 27 countries around the world he sells shipping containers filled with clothes to what's known as a grading facility graters in places like Pakistan sort millions of pieces of used clothing into hundreds of categories ladies tops for the office lady tops for casual ladies jeans men's jeans children's clothes skirts ladies shorts men's short lingerie pajamas corduroys is its own category the most valuable item women's bras if you're at home and you're looking at your bra and you think oh the wire is sticking out or this isn't right donate your bras there's never enough used bras graders are supposed to weed out items no one will buy but those low quality clothes can slip through the cracks and end up in Continental anyways we were visiting with a retailer to study the material content of the waste and we found that over 90 percent of the bail that she had purchased just two days before was completely stained the stain smelled in some places it was sticky in some places so she was only able to salvage like less than 20 items from that entire bail Liz says more than a third of the clothes at continento go to waste but her organization is trying to do something about it Welcome to our lab no more man Capital fast fashion the business that was here before was called man capital or Foundation recently built a lab here to figure out how to recycle clothing waste retailers like Jeanette are learning how to shred unsold clothes to sell his insulation from mattresses and furniture but shredding is a last resort because it doesn't turn a large profit headquarters can also learn how to sew here gaining skills that help them leave the dangerous work of carrying Bales on their heads for Liz the issue is much bigger than just continento she wants to hold the global fashion industry accountable for creating this mess our goal with this work has never been to cancel the secondhand clothing trade it has been to make it better and for us this is all about the root problem which is overproduction over consumption of fast fashion in the global North one tool to do that could be the law the European Union the United Kingdom and parts of the U.S are considering

laws that would make fashion brands fund clothing recycling so far France and Sweden are the only countries to pass what are known as extended producer responsibility laws for the textile industry it's nearly impossible to eliminate clothing waste but Liz thinks the global North could learn from across second-hand Market we had a version of this in our malls and buy our clothes and then next door there was a tailor seamstress who could alter it we wouldn't be producing so much waste and for consumers the solution is even simpler buy less or at least buy products made from what would otherwise become trash these aluminum can pop tabs are being washed and will eventually be turned into designer handbags bottle top bags aim to highlight excessive waste in the Garment industry there's over I think eight percent of global Greenhouse emissions are caused by the fashion industry and bottle top is responding to that after they've been cleaned workers separate the pop tabs and paint them then women like Anna take over using a method similar to crochet Weavers arrange the pop tabs into patterns that Adorn a variety of fashionable bags today Anna is working on the balani this bag will take her about eight hours to make using exactly 1152 pop tabs people in Brazil have a long-standing tradition of crocheting with pop tabs it's a craft that the co-founders of bottletop encountered on a trip there in 2007. we just started looking into into Moors to how we can produce these products and eventually we created our anatellier in Salvador helping people from two disenfranchise communities and giving them skills and livelihoods to to be able to create these products and support the people every year bottle top up Cycles close to 1500 pounds of Pop Taps about the same weight as a smart car that may not seem like a lot considering people worldwide drink and throw away about 180 billion soda cans annually but according to ethical fashion experts every little bit counts production of garments um wastes more energy than the aircraft and shipping markets combined globally and that's just kind of for me puts it into perspective how massive this problem is but it's Brands like bottle top that are working with uh smaller communities and really making such a huge impact on the ground with the people that they work with and that's really where it starts ethical fashion is a movement towards Fair practices in every step of the supply chain from sustainably sourcing raw materials to paying employees Fair wages and it's a growing Market the demand for ethically produced fashion products could grow to eight billion dollars by 2023 we're seeing a really big shift in consumer Behavior towards more responsible production within the fashion industry we're seeing even kind of big corporate fashion brands collaborating with maybe younger brands or artists whose core part of their work is to use upcycling and together they have been creating capsule collections or maybe one or pieces Luciano Rodriguez is in charge of collecting the recycled materials used in bottle top bags he buys them from the city's waste Pickers or goes directly to dump sites where they are sorted and sold so we our now Gathering pools in a machining wash dry then we make a selection all by one by ones all by hand after that we go back to the Machinery again to do a second wash [Music] the bottle top bags end up in London in the world's first 3D printed store made from recycled plastic we are smack bang in the middle of Central London on Regent Street what you're standing on right now is the equivalent of 70 recycled truck tires above us you can see 3 000 recycled cans and the walls you can see this kind of ribbed structure is actually 3D printed waste plastic the bolani starts at 250 dollars while a higher end bag like Elise can cost over six hundred dollars there's no reason why there shouldn't be more sustainable stores we should be the norm this should be the way that fashion is going to make sure to give ourselves the best chance of preserving the planet and reducing carbon emissions even in a pandemic the store itself has been a magnet for High Street shoppers but it is the bottle top story that keeps them coming back I think the more we read in the more we we hear about where our planet and our choices are taking us the more important it is to to make choices in particular in festive times when we're making presents for each other um that are nice and we appreciate but also have some sort of positive impact for The Wider Community The Wider planets and sometimes that positive impact is for both people and nature this invasive weed is choking lakes and rivers around the world water hyacinths now clog waterways in over 50 countries including Tom leisap the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia the people there cannot travel easily when it grows super thick and also the living things under the water die so far Exterminating the plant has proven impossible for the 1.5 million people who live here now locals are removing the pest with their bare hands and giving new life to the dry stems we went to Cambodia to see how local women are making fashionable bags from World Wide waste water Hyacinth is native to the Amazon but over the past Century humans helped it spread to places it never should have been it's been transported all over the world because it's beautiful it's an ornamental plant species Dr kit McGowan is an ecologist who studies invasive plants it's native to the upper reaches of the Amazon basin most of the transport occurred during the early 20th century in the Amazon weevils and moths keep the hyacinths in check but without Predators the plants can double in size every two weeks they block out light and oxygen and kill all kinds of other species that's a big problem for tonley Sap's floating villages is the heart of Cambodia this is a unique ecosystem and The Villages around there have a rather unique lifestyle the hyacinths creates so much waste that they're harming stocks of staple foods and they make it harder to get around many times we got stuck for a few hours in the middle of the water Hyacinth Lake how sunsra runs rokok a company that hires women to remove the weeds by hand and then weave the stems into baskets rugs and other handicrafts he says she wanted to help local women earn a living while dealing with the plant that makes their way of life more difficult many women they still live in the circle of grown up and get married in the young age I want them to be employed and to get some training today four Weavers work for rocock they can bundle as many as 200 Hyacinth stocks at a time they bring them back onto Shore to dry in the Sun for up to two weeks then they wash them [Music] the women lay the stems out on top of this wooden platform and steamed the plants over charcoal to kill bacteria and get the right color after the steaming our vivos would select the size of water hyacin stem they use small stems for coasters and medium ones for bags and baskets the largest stems will become rugs our weaving is based on our traditional weaving you can see from our weaving style and also the fabric that we use this one we made for a one of the apartment in simrip one rug can take three women over a month to weave but at rocock women can make up to three hundred dollars for a finished product more than what the average Cambodian earns in a month rococox Weavers say they're making an impact on the environment despite their small Workforce Japan with the hyacinths reproduce far faster than the company's four employees can Harvest them still how Sun straw has succeeded in one part of her mission to give the women of tonley Sapp an opportunity to support their families I used to question myself how to be independent like when I grown up this is what I would like to see in the other women hi this is Will story from the world wide waste team we want to bring you more stories to take a look at garbage and creative ways that people deal with it if you enjoyed this video please like And subscribe we also read all the comments if you have an idea for a video you'd like to see let us know you just watch excerpts from some stories we've done about reducing fashion waste click here for the full episodes

2022-10-28 15:35

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