Why Recycled? The global challenges facing the recycling system

Why recycled? is a short video by our favourite brand, Patagonia. It looks at the current global challenges facing the recycling system and why Patagonia is switching to 100% renewable and recycled materials. Through interviews with material designers and industrial ecologists, this film urges us to question our own consumption habits and look at the impact the clothing industry has on people and the planet.

 

Can your clothes make a difference?

We at Still Stoked encourage you to think about the impact that your clothing has on the environment. This short film from Patagonia looks into the different types of recycling and how the textile and the fashion industry can have a significant impact on the health of the planet. Recycling alone won’t eliminate our environmental impacts, consuming less will. If you have to buy clothing, accessories or fashion items, opting for items that use organic or recycled materials is one way that your choices can lessen the impact.

 

 

Patagonia is a brand that Still Stoked supports and wears on a regular basis. The Nano Air Hoodie, 100-litre Recycled Black Hole Duffle Bag, Nano Stick Surf Bikini and many other items that are our go-to on all our adventures. We are proud that our purchases of recycled fashion items are helping reduce waste which is an increasingly disturbing issue (we saw plastic in the ocean everywhere we traveled across the Pacific by sailboat).

Although our purchases of course still have an impact (buying no items at all is the best answer), buying recycled textiles from conscious companies focused on sustainability, Fair Trade, and environmental progress is a positive note that we all should get behind. In a move away from fast fashion, knowing your purchases are built to go the distance and even that if they don’t, Patagonia will mend any clothes that are damaged (they are currently sewing up a seam on my R2 wetsuit!), I know I will be reducing the volume of clothing that I will be buying in the future.

 

High on mountains in the Nano Air Hoodie

Skier girl in Patagonia clothes in the mountains
Food is the one thing on my mind after we set up camp and the sun goes down.

 

So Why Recycled textiles? Extracting and processing virgin materials takes a toll on land, water, and air. To do their part, Patagonia moved toward 100% renewable and recycled raw materials. This season’s Black Hole® collection (we love these!) used 10 million plastic bottles to build the 100% recycled body fabric and webbing of these durable travel companions.

 

Patagonia Black Hole Bags in Mountains
Recycled Black Hole Bags
Photo Credit: Ken Etzel

100% of their waterproof shells are now made with recycled materials and Fair Trade Certified™ Sewn, without sacrificing our standards in performance or durability.

100% Built with recycled materials: Using recycled fabrics for all our waterproof shells decreases our dependence on petroleum and diverts used materials from the landfill.

100% Fair Trade Certified™ Sewn: Patagonia choose to pay a premium for all our waterproof shells: The extra money goes directly to the people making the jackets, and they decide how to use the funds.

100% Performance: Built to our highest quality standards for protection in even the worst of weather.

 

 

Here is a bit more info, taken from the Patagonia Website:

 

Our Industry Has A Carbon Issue

Most clothes are made using energy from coal-fuelled power plants. This adds warming gases into the air we breathe and accelerates the climate crisis. In just one year, the clothing industry will contribute 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions into our air. That’s as many emissions as international flights and maritime shipping combined.

 

We are letting go of virgin materials.

Extracting and processing virgin materials takes a toll on land, water and air. To do their part, Patagonia is moving toward 100% renewable and recycled raw materials. By using both synthetic and natural fibers made from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, they are limiting their dependence on raw materials and reducing carbon emissions.

 

Patagonia Post-Consumer Recycling

Post-consumer refers to any finished product that has been used then diverted from landfills at the end of its life. This includes anything that you throw in the recycling bin at home or at designated textile-collection bins.

 

Patagonia Pre-Consumer Recycling

Sometimes referred to as “post-industrial,” pre-consumer waste is created during the manufacturing process, like fabric scraps or yarn waste from weaving mills and spinning factories. The recycled yarn is sometimes mixed with other materials, like polyester, to ensure there is no loss in performance.

 


 

To see more about this Why Recycle video and the commitment to sustainability that Patagonia has, see the Patagonia website, or if you are in Australia, head straight to the local Australia site.

 

Hiya, I'm Alexa. Always on some sort of adventure! I'm excited to share my stories & introduce you to other rad women, also living the dream. I'm here to inspire you to do the same :-)

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