We’ve all heard the buzzwords being thrown around like sustainable, carbon neutral and ethical fashion. Sustainability in fashion is more talked about now than ever with companies either hopping on the bandwagon, making some serious changes or the rise in popularity of eco-conscious brands. While compostability hasn’t been widely discussed in fashion, we have seen a lot in compostable coffee pods, compostable bags and compostable labels. We’re here to say that compostability is here to stay — guiding fashion towards a more earth-friendly direction.
Back to Basics: Compostable vs Biodegradable
While compostable is biodegradable, biodegradable isn’t necessarily compostable.. Biodegradable materials go through a natural process where they break down into their natural elements under an unspecified time period — this could be years, decades or even infinite time! However, compostable materials break down in optimal conditions, take less time to break down into their natural elements and release nutrients into the soil. For more information, we previously explored the difference between biodegradable and compostable materials - link here to our blog article.
Fast Fashion isn’t Cheap
Although fast fashion clothing items come with a cheap price tag, think twice before you snag your next synthetic, on-sale brief. The cost of fast fashion adds up: low quality materials, toxic chemicals and the decomposition process is slow, resulting in the continued poisoning of our planet and degradation of our own health (tip: synthetic materials like spandex or elastane prevent our body’s natural ability to expel heat, perspiration and breathability).
What is Compostable Fashion?
Maybe you’ve heard of compostable couture or designers experimenting with innovative alternatives (Stella McCartney recently launched a collection made from vegan mushroom leather). Compostable fashion is clothing and accessories designed with the earth in mind and made from 100% compostable materials — this means products that are most likely 100% organic, vegan and non-toxic, plus free from plastic and plant-able at the end of its lifetime.
Soil is the Earth’s Skin
Say goodbye to overproduction and overconsumption — compostable fashion is here to divert waste from landfills and rejuvenate the planet’s skin. It’s not just that easy to compost fabrics. Not all fabrics are compostable — it may be contaminated in toxic dyes and chemicals that can do more harm than good or are synthetic materials that just don’t break down. The benefits of composting? Our briefs (and 100% plant-based materials) are never wasted, but saved from landfill and returned to the soil for the next cycle of life.
The 5 top benefits of composting are:
- Adding nutrients to the soil. (compost is “humus” —nutrient-rich soil)
- Introducing valuable organisms to the soil that decompose organic material.
- Recycles kitchen, yard and now KENT brief waste at end of life.
- Reduces landfill waste.
- Good for the environment!
Greater demands for transparency
Where fast fashion is built on disposability and exploitation (of people and the planet), compostable organic clothing is based on ideals of regeneration, low impact and zero waste. We are all becoming increasingly aware of how businesses behave and expecting transparency about their practices across the entire supply chain (from design to disposal). We’re concerned with how socially responsible the brand can be, including what materials are used and how people involved are treated. Now more than ever before, we are holding brands to a higher standard.
Move towards circular design and closed loop systems
Innovative fashion is moving towards more sustainable design solutions — this includes circular (or “cradle-to-cradle”) design and closed loop systems. Both of which consider product design, manufacturing, use, handling and disposal to minimize its environmental impact, waste generated and efficiency in resources used.
Climate action to reduce textile waste
We’re all living with the continuing drastic effects of climate change and with the fashion industry being one of the top polluting industries (contributing to approximately 10% of global carbon emissions). The solution? Re-invention of the fashion industry. By integrating change at every stage of the supply chain, we can reframe how our clothing is made, how and why we buy, how we take care of our clothing and where it goes once it has left our closets.
At KENT, we’re leading the change to a more sustainable future every step of the way — including every thread, fiber and elastic used to make our 100% organic and compostable briefs. KENT underwear takes only 3 months to decompose (as verified by LA Compost). We want you to Plant Your Pants™ — to help eliminate the continued overwhelm of waste in landfill from fashion textiles. So whether you’re living the zero waste lifestyle or looking to make some simple sustainable switches, start with KENT briefs — 100% better for our bodies and our planet.