#1. Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills
The fashion industry is one of the top polluting industries that contributes approximately 10% of global carbon emissions. Plastic (including undergarments made from polyester and nylon) can sit in landfills for over 200 years (with a possibility of forever). It does not just sit in the landfill but seeps its way into our waterways as microplastics that can be ingested by animals and also cause major plastic pollution.
Inside composting facilities that create the ideal decomposition conditions, compostable items are broken down into their natural elements. Composted items leave behind no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue ultimately causing no harm to the environment.
You don’t need to worry about any items piling up for too long – compostable products are held to strict standards, requiring them to disintegrate entirely within 12 weeks and 90% of its disintegration must occur within 180 days in a composting facility.
#2. Introduces valuable nutrients into the soil
The result of compost? Humus.
Humus is dark, organic matter rich in nutrients that improves the soil health. It adds nutrients, such as carbon and nitrogen, that are vital for plant growth and photosynthesis. Microorganisms that are present in the decomposition process (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.) get introduced into the soil and increase aeration and biodiversity.
Humus can also be used as a natural, non-toxic pesticide that helps to prevent insect infestation and suppress weed growth. It minimizes the need for synthetic fertilizers full of toxic chemicals.
#3. Decreases soil erosion and runoff
Compost helps to improve soil structure, making it less likely to erode, improving its ability to retain water and hold onto its nutrients. Compost also helps to loosen tightly packed soil particles so air can penetrate into the soil to aerate beneficial organisms (bacteria, insects, worms, etc.), drain water and let growing roots spread.
No longer will poor, lifeless soil get blown away in the wind. The resulting higher quality soil suppresses diseases and harmful pests, preventing its spread in running water. Compost-rich soil helps to dramatically improve soil quality and the crops it grows too.
#4. Creates a circular design
You might have heard about circular, cradle-to-cradle or closed-loop design, essentially a design system that takes into consideration a product’s entire life cycle. From its design, manufacturing, use, handling and disposal, and how its environmental impact can be minimized – including reducing the waste generated and using resources efficiently.
It’s a part of nature’s organic design – think of the produce you eat, plants in your backyard and other organic material that grows on our planet. It just makes sense to incorporate those principles into the design of clothing –– just like we do with our KENT 100% compostable (at end of life) underwear.
Composting is fundamental to circular design. With composting, we’re able to recycle an existing product through its disposal and turn it into something else like feeding nutrients into the soil to rejuvenate the earth’s skin.
#5. Does good for the environment
Composting is a sustainable and eco-friendly way to dispose of organic waste, reducing the burden that waste (and its polluting effects) has on the environment. Higher yields of farm produce support local farmers.
Farmer health is also protected when they are not exposed to toxic chemicals in synthetic fertilizers. Our own health can be protected as well when we’re not exposed to toxic chemicals that can seep into our own bodies. Humus helps to create higher soil quality and a significant decline in soil erosion.
Compost results in an overall positive impact on our planet through its healing properties that rejuvenate the soil.
At KENT, we are always looking for ways to embrace and work in harmony with nature – that’s why we love composting. Learn more about our commitment to Plant Your Pants™ and our newly launched Compost Club (fashion’s first compost take-back program).