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Reversing Climate Change with Compost

by Millicent Hofung |

We’ve all heard of how polluting and environmentally damaging the fashion industry can be, but there isn’t enough discussion surrounding the solutions that can fix our damaged planet.

 

What is Climate Change?

Climate change refers to the long-term and significant change in the earth’s average weather and climate conditions. In our current conditions, climate change is happening much faster than anticipated by the earth’s natural climate system.

The changes are driven by human activities, particularly with burning fossil fuels and as a result, increase the level of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) in our atmosphere. These greenhouse gases trap heat within our atmosphere and raise the earth’s average surface temperature – the result? Global warming.

Climate change is the result of these persistent global warming effects. We see this in the increase of land and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, extreme weather (heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods, rainfall, hurricanes, etc.) and the decline of ice at both of the earth’s poles.

 

The Fashion Industry and Climate Change

It has been demonstrated that the fashion industry accounts for approximately 10% of global carbon emissions (as well as 20% of wastewater uses more energy than both the aviation and shipping industry combined). There’s much to consider and it’s hard to come up with a singular number that accounts for all the resources that the clothing industry’s complex supply chains use – from production, transportation, consumption and ultimately disposal.

In response, we’ve seen sustainable fashion on the rise. Fashion brands are looking at ways to reduce their environmental impact (from using organic, natural materials and the more efficient use of resources) and carbon neutral shipping, but what about the end of life for a piece of clothing?

It’s not enough to use recycled materials as we’re still relying on plastics and the hazardous chemicals in their composition. So what can we do to foster a more environmentally-conscious fashion industry? Meet our sustainable proposition – composting.

 

What is Composting?

Composting is a biological decomposition – it turns organic waste into a nutrient-rich resource called “humus” that can be used as fertilizer to enrich the soil and plants that are grown. Instead of sending organic material to landfills to rot and release greenhouse gases, we can put them to better use and turn it into nutrients for the planet.

 

How can Composting Help to Reverse Climate Change?

#1: Works with the earth’s natural functions

Think of biodegradable products – they tap into the earth’s natural ability to break down organic matter into its most natural state. Composting adheres to even more stricter guidelines such as with time and controlled environment for microorganisms to thrive, to guarantee a bountiful humus.

In essence, compost creates a circular system: we start by taking natural materials from the planet, turn them into a product, use the product and rather than disposing of it to landfill, we turn it back into its most natural form – back into the earth. The earth has it all figured out with its own recycling system that feeds what we take from the planet, back into it.

 

#2: Clean clothes, cleaner bodies and a cleaner planet

Composting relies on the consideration of the product’s material composition and how it has been treated, to ensure that we’re only putting back the good stuff into the planet. Just like how you wouldn’t compost diseased plants or weeds, you wouldn’t want to compost cotton that has been treated with an array of hazardous pesticides.

This helps us to be more mindful in creating products that stay true to the idea of being as super natural as possible – this means it is good for the people involved in the supply chain, their communities and our bodies (when we end up wearing the clothing). We can also protect the planet too, by not poisoning the waterways with harmful chemicals or creating and using synthetics that leach into the environment with microplastics when laundering.

 

#3: Creates an end of life solution for garments

The fashion industry has evolved to come up with more sustainable solutions from second hand stores and recycling materials. But it is especially difficult to dispose of undergarments, like underwear and socks, due to the intimate nature of these items.

By creating sustainable clothing with its end in mind, we believe in promoting a proactive, eco-conscious mindset. Clothing can be prevented from ever going into the landfill through advanced design decisions and disposal methods planned in advance. Instead of eventually ending up in the landfill for essentially eternity (because plastics never go away), organic clothing can return back to the earth for us to use again (and again).