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There is Nothing Luxurious About Textile Waste

There is Nothing Luxurious About Textile Waste

In a world driven by trends and consumerism, the textile and fashion industry has become a major contributor to environmental degradation and ethical concerns. There are so many staggering facts about textile waste and the environmental issues created by the fashion industry, it's mind-blowing. So, I've narrowed it down to three of the top issues, and ways in which businesses and consumers alike can respond to these issues. Of course, it's important to note that at WoolTribe, we are focused on wool - it's what we do - BUT when you purchase products made with any type of fiber, consider employing the calls to action we've paired with each of the issues we highlight below.

1. Fashion Contributes to Massive Waste

- Fact: "The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, right behind the oil industry." (Source: Cline, Elizabeth L. "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.")

- Calls to Action: Embrace sustainable-values-based fashion, supporting brands that prioritize quality, durability, and sustainable practices. Choose timeless pieces over trendy items to reduce the demand for fast fashion. Keep the items you buy LONGER. Look at your purchases as long-term relationships - and enjoy many adventures together!

NOTE: Fast fashion may promise affordability and a constant influx of new styles, but it comes at a significant cost to our planet. By shifting our focus to responsibly-made fashion—where durability and sustainability take precedence over fleeting trends—we can break the cycle of overconsumption and contribute to a healthier environment.

2. Conventional Wool Farming Comes With Steep Environmental Impact

- Fact: "Conventional wool farming, with its intensive land use and chemical inputs, can contribute to soil degradation and water pollution." (Source: Textile Exchange, "Sustainable, Responsible Wool Standard.")

- Calls to Action: Choose clothing made from Sustainable, Responsible Wool Standard (SRWS) certified wool, or Nativa-Regen certified wool. Better yet, support brands committed to ethical and sustainable wool production practices, like WoolTribe. Our wool is dual certified under both RWS and Nativa-Regen programs!

NOTE: While wool is a natural and sustainable fiber, conventional wool farming practices can have negative environmental repercussions. The same can be said of conventional farming related to other natural fibers. The fiber, alone, isn't the answer - the farming practices have to be in line with sustainability goals as well. Opting for clothing made from certified wool, produced by audited supply chain partners, ensures that the wool is produced with a focus on animal welfare, environmental responsibility, and social fairness, providing a more sustainable alternative to conventional wool.

WoolTribe beanie detail photo, with embroidered logo tag on recycled leather, and visible repair made using 100% Shaniko Merino wool hand dyed, and handspun into yarn.

At WoolTribe, we offer repair service. Often, small tears or holes can be repaired creatively. While other manufacturers might have sent this beanie to a landfill, we chose to repair it with hand-spun, hand-dyed Shaniko Wool.


3. Over-buying and Over-production Contribute to Landfills Overrun with Clothing

- Fact: "More than 60% of clothing ends up in landfills within a year of being produced." (Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, "A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future.")

- Calls to Action: Support initiatives that promote a circular economy in fashion. Buy less, buy higher quality, and buy from companies that don't just offer take-backs, but offer repair and refurbishing services. Select garments, and companies carefully. At WoolTribe, we are proud to have launched our repair service alongside our online store.

NOTE: Our throwaway culture is taking a toll on the environment, with clothing ending up in landfills at an alarming rate. By embracing mindful consumption, such as keeping new clothing for at least 3-5 years, purchasing second-hand clothing, repairing items to extend their wear rather, and supporting initiatives that promote a circular economy, we can actively contribute to reducing textile waste and fostering a more sustainable fashion landscape. Beware big brands that allow you to return ANY clothing - not just theirs. What they aren't telling you is that they have warehouses FULL of used clothing that isn't being repaired, or recycled.

These fashion industry challenges aren't the fault of any one party or company alone - they are the responsibility of an entire industry, from manufacturer to consumer. We should all respond to the calls to action being posed by the thought leaders in the areas of fashion, textiles, and sustainability. By making informed choices as consumers, supporting sustainable brands, and advocating for change, we can be catalysts for a fashion revolution—a revolution that transforms the industry from one of waste to one of wardrobe sustainability. Let's choose quality over quantity, conscientiousness over convenience, and pave the way for a more responsible and sustainable fashion future. Together!

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