It’s day two of Waste Reduction Week in Canada. What are we looking at today?
Waste reduction is challenging—but we're all trying our best to reduce waste and lessen our impact on Earth. So let’s celebrate our efforts and achievements with Waste Reduction Week 2021!
While waste reduction is an evergreen effort—and Waste Reduction Week is a year-round program—October 18 to 23, 2021 is a week where we can celebrate our wins and our determinations, while learning how to further our waste-reduction efforts into the future.
It’s all about being inspired to reduce waste, every day of the year!
Each day this week, we’ll be taking a close look at ways we can reduce waste and the principles behind waste reduction. Yesterday, we looked at the Circular Economy; today, the Textile industry. (After all, education is just as important motivation and inspiration.)
It's Textiles Tuesday—what does that mean, in terms of Waste Reduction Week?
It's simple—textile waste is increasing exponentially in Canada and around the world. According to Waste Reduction Week, the average person disposes of 37 kilograms of textiles annually, 95 per cent of which could likely be recycled.
Beyond that, the average Canadian purchases 70 new items of clothing per year—yet, on average, 50 per cent of our clothing hangs mostly unworn in our closets. Combined with stats that indicate clothing production has roughly doubled over the past 15 years, while the amount of time an article of clothing is worn before being discarded has decreased 36 per cent in the same period, it's easy to see why textile waste has become a major concern.
A rise in "fast fashion"—cheap or inexpensive, trendy clothing—plus quicker turnaround of styles and increased sizes of collections all contribute to textile waste. However, for the solutions, we should look to the Circular Economy.
Supporting the Circular Economy when shopping for clothing is relatively easy—for starters, we should look for quality, long-lasting textiles. This shifts perception from textiles as being disposal, to being durable. As well, look for as textiles that use recycled fabrics—by increasing the demand for recycled fabrics, we will increase supply.
Another concern is micro-plastics breaking off from synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester. This occurs during the laundry cycle—so considering what really needs to be washed, rather than excessively washing your apparel, can help.
Historically, textile production has been a major driver of industrialization. Today, the industry uses some 98 million tonnes of non-renewable resources annually, as well as massive amounts of water (2,600 litres to make one t-shirt on average). Worldwide, we consume more than 80 billion items of clothing annually, 85 per cent of which will end up in a landfill.
Considering the Circular Economy and waste-reduction while shopping for, using and re-using textiles can have major, positive repercussions.
How Can I Support Waste Reduction in Textiles?
- Consider purchasing high-quality, long-lasting clothing and footwear over fast-fashion.
- When buying new clothing, choose apparel that utilizes recycled materials.
- Recycle, upcycle or repair old clothing to keep it in the Circular Economy.
- Selectively launder your synthetic clothing to reduce micro-plastic break-off.
Waste Reduction Week in Canada Events:
Canadian zero-waste laundry brand Tru Earth is a proud supporter of Waste Reduction Week in Canada.
To join in the 2021 celebrations, Tru Earth will host an official Grand Opening of their Tru Earth Store at 3210 St. Johns Street, in Port Moody, BC.
Events are on from October 18 to 23 at their flagship store:
- 15% off all purchases
- Free giveaways with every purchase
- Fun prize draws daily
- Virgin Radio will be onsite October 23 for the official Grand Opening celebrations
About Waste Reduction Week in Canada
This is the 20th year of Waste Reduction Week in Canada. While Canadian Waste Reduction and Recycling Weeks have been organized since the mid-1980s, in 2001, this national Waste Reduction Week program was formally implemented by the Circular Innovation Council. This program today has the support of many not-for-profit environmental groups as well as all provincial and territorial governments in Canada.