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Use, reuse the mantra adapted by handful of brands to promote sustainability

A new report has disclosed that the vast majority of the fashion industry has a totally unsustainable business model, as their so-called ‘fast fashion’ labels churn out cheap, disposable fashion, hitting stores as often as twice a week. The report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation notes, one garbage truck’s worth of textiles is wasted every second, and less than 1 per cent of clothing is recycled into new clothes. $500 billion is wasted every year on clothes that are barely worn and rarely recycled. The report puts forward a vision strategy for a ‘new textiles economy’ in which the lifespan of clothes is longer, they’re produced with fewer chemicals and renting, reselling and reuse become the norm.

In fact six ethical brands now offer an alternative to destructive ‘fast fashion’. Rent Your Wardrobe is a concept where people swap, rent and exchange the things they need and want ― is taking root in the fashion industry, and ‘Rent the Runway’ is a prime example. For $159 a month, the New York-based business lets customers rent four items of clothing at a time. For those with less money to spend, customers can borrow four pieces a month from the business’s 500-label inventory for $89. Jennifer Hyman, the company’s co-founder says they want to put H&M and Zara out of business. The company Rent The Runway is going strong, it managed $100 million in revenue and has raised $190 million in funding.

The Online Marketplace: When children grow out of clothes, toys and accessories companies like Kidizen address this issue through technology. It’s an online marketplace. The site has over 4,00,000 registered users in the US. Similarly Crossroads Trading Co buys, sell and trades second hand clothes. It offers second hand branded clothes at an affordable price.

Ryan Yasin designed Petit Pli, Clothes That Grow With Your Children. The material he developed, inspired by origami, is lightweight, waterproof and can expand in two directions, meaning that each piece can span seven sizes (from six months to three years). Swedish company Houdini Sportswear specializes in organic, chemical-free clothes that can be thrown on the compost heap when they’re beyond repair. More than 90 per cent of Houdini’s range, which is sold in 20 markets globally, is made from recycled, recyclable, renewable or biodegradable fabrics. Then there is Veja’s whose vegan sneakers have been seen on the feet of celebrities. The sneakers are made from sustainable cotton and rubber.