|The Life of Textiles|
|Written by Jessica McIlroy - Sunday, 19 May 2013|
The apparel industry has for years gotten a pretty bad wrap when it comes to manufacturing and labour standards, and of course the recent events in Bangladesh demonstrate why there should be concern. But the damage from the production of textiles themselves, before they even get to the garment factories, is often over looked. The recent work by Greenpeace, with their Detox Campaign and the Fashion Duel, has started to bring to light the damages caused by toxins in the production of textiles. But there also the issues of energy and water needed to produce fibres and textiles, and the incredible amount of textile waste entering landfills each year.
Adhesif (Photo credit: Peter Jensen)
More and more local designers are looking at used and unwanted textiles as a source of material and inspiration. Adhesif Clothing has been creating collections made by reusing fabrics for the past ten years. The designer collective RISE Upcycling re-purposes used goods by reselling quality second-hand garments, taking apart garments and using the textiles, and everything in between. A long standing staple of vintage clothing in Vancouver, f as in frank, also creates an upcycled line called SNAP. And new comer Stevie Crowne has created a line called War Paint reworking jackets, vests and sunglasses with punk inspired embellishments.
Our Social Fabric sale
Another local organization working to keep unwanted textiles from the landfill is Our Social Fabric, a non-profit established to sell unwanted and donated fabrics. Most of the fabrics are still on the bolt, and many come from manufacturers who no longer want or need them, or from the movie industry which doesn’t have a system for reusing unwanted textiles.
Jessica McIlroy is a sustainability consultant with extensive experience in the renewable energy industry, climate change policy, gender equality and community development. She has worked for a number of non-profit associations and is the founder of the BC Women in Energy Network. Jessica is also working to increase the sustainability of the garment and textile industry, working as the Chief Awareness Officer for Eco Fashion Week, and contributing eco fashion pieces to online publications. Jessica holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability, an MBA in Executive Management, a certification in Climate Change Decision Making, and has completed The Accountability Project Sustainability Practitioner Course.
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