Consumers purchase 2.15 million tonnes of new clothing and shoes each year in the UK. In order to make room for all the new clothes, they are throwing away the old. Over 1.4 million tonnes of clothing are sent to UK landfill every year. Much of this can be worn again. Textiles present particular problems in landfill. Synthetic (man-made fibres) products do not decompose. Woollen garments do decompose, but in doing so they produce methane, which contributes to global warming and climate change. The World Health Organisation estimates that 150,000 people die every year from climate change.
Meanwhile, the fashion industry is producing new styles and trends for the high street at a frantic pace. This is having a negative effect on the environment as virgin resources are being used faster than they can be produced, toxic pesticides and other chemicals are being used to grow cotton and energy is being used to transport products around the globe. Specifically, the grasslands of the Alashan Plateau in China have been turned into a dustbowl due to over grazing of goats for cashmere. In Uzbekistan, 85% of the Aral Sea has disappeared as a result of drainage for cotton production.
TRAID aims to help the environment both in the UK and abroad by reducing the amount of textile waste sent to landfill and providing a stylish alternative to buying new.
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