The traditional fashion industry is among the most polluting on the planet: it generates about 20 million tons of waste every year and is responsible for over 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.
The economic model of traditional fashion, in fact, is fast fashion, where a piece of clothing becomes a good to be thrown away after a short period of use.
"Fast fashion" has a billionaire turnover. Thanks to globalization, large and famous brands have been able to keep costs low by outsourcing their supply chain in countries with no labor and environmental protection laws, thus causing catastrophic effects on our planet.
"Clothing has become so cheap. Someone has to pay the price" Mongabay Kirsi Niinimäki
At RE49, we work with a more conscious, ethical, sustainable and circular model: our mantra is recover - recycle - reuse. We promote a change in the way the life of a product is perceived by customers: for RE49, objects have a beginning but not an end. We think in a circular way to minimize waste and regenerate resources. Objects cannot be created, used and then destroyed. In our factory discarded objects are transformed into footwear: our shoes are made with upcycled materials, thus reducing waste and emissions.
"Today’s waste should become tomorrow’s resources, that ist the only way we can enter a new era in economy" Saverio Scarpellino
What is a circular economy model?
According to circular economy models, production and consumption of existing products and natural resources should extend the life cycle of a product and reduce waste. This system is designed to give a second life to an object that has completed its function on the market. Materials are recovered, upcycled and reintroduced into the economic cycle.
Adopting a circular economy model brings enormous benefits to the environment: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; decrease in water waste and primary resources; increase in productivity on the territory; reduction of polluting materials.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published a new report, “Progress towards preventing waste in Europe — the case of textile waste prevention”, according to which, textile waste is growing rapidly and causing serious environmental impact.
According to data, an average European citizen generates around 11 kg of textile waste per year. Therefore measures to protect the environment are now needed more than ever: we must generate less waste before instead of just finding ways to handle it! The EU Waste Framework Directive establishes a legal obligation for Member States to establish separate collection of textile waste by 1 January 2025, posing a new challenge to SMART WASTE partners and thus supporting innovation in textile waste management.
This confirms that the solution is a move towards a circular economy model: at RE49, we believe that the world of fashion must become a trend setter not only on catwalks, but also in the fight against climate change!