As we know fast fashion has changed the clothing and textiles industry into an ever-changing cycle, due to the throwaway culture that we have developed as fashion consumers. We are always looking for the next on trend piece to fill our wardrobes at an affordable price, but the consequences of this mentality are now proving to be devastating to our planet.
Is clothing rental the answer to a circular economy?
More than 235 million items of unwanted clothing were discarded into landfill in the UK in 2017 and the average American is estimated to bin 37kg of used clothing annually. MABI Swimwear believes that positive changes can be made to improve the industry, making sustainable garments widely available in the future and changing the throwaway fast fashion culture for the better. Overconsumption and the problematic disposal of unwanted garments has become a worrying global problem, causing lasting damaging effects to our planet when items could be recycled or repaired. Fast fashion is one of the main problems in the industry today. Cheap, poorly made garments are being churned out in vast amounts to provide our overconsumption addiction, so savvy shoppers can keep up to date with the trends at cut prices.
This mentality of discarding items after even one wear is the main source of this problem, fashion and sustainability have historically had an uncomfortable relationship. The problems arise in areas of ethical production, were people in third world countries are being exploited and having to work in poor conditions. The issues continue with the environmental impact of production and over consumption, which are an increasing concern to climate change.
A solution has been proposed to close the loop on the industry, by transforming a wasteful society into a circular economy with the help of clothing rental and recycling initiatives. WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency agency, has identified leasing as an innovative business model that gives clothes a longer service life while reducing material use and carbon dioxide emissions. A recent survey by the Westfield Shopping Centre in London suggested clothing rental would become a key future trend. Would you consider leasing or swapping your clothes instead of purchasing something new?