The percentage of second-hand clothing that is recycled to make new garments is less than 1%

The 080 Barcelona recently celebrated its third edition. The objective of the event in recent years has been to show that brands are committed to making materials increasingly sustainable. Prioritize quality and the solidity of finishesBefore thinking about the ability to be brought to large-scale production is essential in this context.

“This last factor must be taken into account since the vast majority of brands that present collections are intended for pret-à-porter”, points out the co-head of the track in Fashion & Luxury Marketing of TBS in Barcelona, ​​Cristina Proença: “This bet is consistent with the awareness that in the last 10 years the clothing industry has become the second most polluting in the world, just behind petrochemicals, being responsible for 6% of global CO2 emissions, according to data from the Ellen McArthur Foundation ”.

The attitude-behavior gap

This problem shows its worst face when, according to the report “It Takes Two: How the industry and consumers can close the attitude-behavior gap regarding sustainability in fashion” of the Zalando clothing marketplace, it is revealed that less than 1% of all second-hand clothing that is collected to give you a really new life it is recycled to make new garments.

“The industry does not meet the requirements of consumers in their circular economy demands”, is explained in the report. The same study also shows that there are only 23% of consumers who repair their garments on a recurring basis. Still, 63% of clothing buyers wish their clothes had a new life after shedding.

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‘Fast fashion’ vs durable and quality clothing

The popularization of the phenomenon called ‘fast-fashion‘has made changing costumes ever cheaper and easier for the consumer, but this also carries very high human and environmental costs.

“The young designers who are entering 080 Barcelona have lived with the climatic emergency for a long time, which, from what has been seen, prefer to present collections of few pieces, of great versatility and quality, designed to last”, explains Proença, who continues: “It is a generation that has literally spent half its life hearing that 17,000 liters of water are needed to make a pair of jeans, when in some clothing chains the denim collections are renewed almost every month”, remember .

Even so, according to TBS in Barcelona, ​​nothing seems to indicate that the buying habit of the average consumer of cheap fashion will change in a short period of time: “The sustainable factor is not yet a compelling reason to take into account for the customer when making a purchase, since having the clothes at an affordable price counts more. Consciousness of consumers is very important and change must be driven by brands and all actors in the value chain “, explains Maud Berthelod, co-responsible for the same TBS track in Barcelona.

He also gives as an example the Fashion Pact that was launched in 2019, just before the pandemic: a global coalition of companies from the textile and fashion industry together with suppliers and distributors. This pact is signed by 200 brands to date, which represent 30% of world fashion production and was born with three missions: to stop global warming, restore biodiversity and protect the oceans. The group has set itself the achievement of these three main objectives through seven strategies.

Luxury follows the path of sustainability

In the same way that there is increasing awareness around the environmental effects of the fashion industry, more than 60% of luxury consumers also prefer a company concerned about its Corporate Social Responsibility, according to a recent report by the consultancy BCG. This same 2013 report showed that by then this factor only concerned 50% of those surveyed.

In the same way, 80% of the growth of the luxury sector in the next five years will be highly marked by the presence of consumers of the younger generations, a population highly sensitive in the aspect of environmental sustainability.

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