The textile waste issue
It is common for projects to yield excess fabric either from minimum fabric requirements of vendors or the way the cutting has to be done for specific products. In many cases, clients have no need for the leftover fabric.
Did you know?
20% of global production waste comes from the textile and apparel sectors.
According to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), a global organization of companies involved in the reuse and recycling of textiles and related secondary materials, the average U.S. citizen throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year. Why does this matter? 95% of textiles, even if they are worn out or torn, can be recycled – yet only 15% get donated/recycled, with 85% of used textiles ending up in landfills. With that said, biodegradable fabrics like cotton and linen usually decompose within a few weeks to a couple of months, but synthetic fabrics like nylon, spandex, and polyester can take up to 200 years to decompose.
What we are doing to help
At Stitchroom, we've developed a process to maximize use of leftover fabric. We start by sorting the scraps by size. Pillows are sewn from the larger scraps and all proceeds from the sales of these pillows are donated to Materials for the Arts in NYC. The smaller scraps are utilized for other creative projects such as quilting or fabric art, eliminating fabric waste entirely. Not only are we trying become a fully circular company, but donating to Materials for the Arts helps teach kids sustainable and creative skills. It's a win-win for everyone :)