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Investing in Innovation and Tackling Textile Waste

This journal is part of our Outland Impact 2021 Highlight series. Click HERE to explore more stories from your 2021 Outland Denim Impact report.

It’s time to tackle the issue of Textile Waste.

It’s an issue that affects not just our planet, but our communities, too, and it will continue to for generations to come if we do not take action now. McKinsey states, "Despite efforts by some players, as much as 12% of fibres are still discarded on the factory floor, 25% of garments remain unsold, and less than 1% of products are recycled into new garments." The Ellen MacArthur Foundation further states that large amounts of non-renewable resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a short time, after which the materials are mostly sent to landfill or incinerated.

Annually Australian’s acquire an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per person, and discard around 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year, amounting to 800,000 tonnes of textiles landfilled.

Slowing our consumption may help, but we fear it won’t be a fast enough solution. And it’s true that we could recycle, but not all textiles can be recycled, and depending on the material, recycled fibres aren’t always as durable as virgin fibres. Recycling technologies also emit carbon.

This is why we are investing heavily into research and development of waste and circularity technology, working to remove textiles from landfill and revolutionize the way we dispose of clothing. Not just for the use of us as a brand, but for the use of the whole fashion industry. Imagine if we could take textiles that cannot be recycled, textile scraps from production, unfixable post-consumer clothing, and garments that were not in appropriate condition for thrift stores to sell, and dispose of them in a way that was a) environmentally safe and b) did not disrupt communities.

100% of excess textile waste from Outland Denim’s production facility is directed towards textile recycling research, not-for-profit social enterprises and NGOs for training and awareness projects.

Now, you know we are all for transparency, but to be transparent with you, we can only share limited details with you at this stage (or else our legal team will be after us). BUT what we can share with you is that our team has proven, in a lab, that we can take textile waste and eradicate it. Now that lab testing is complete, it’s time to take the next step - the first commercial test. We’ll be testing this technology with a range of textile compositions to better understand the scope of this technology and what fabrics it can break down.

Like Rome, revolutionary textile waste technology isn’t built in a day, but we look forward to progressing through this stage, and keeping you up to date on this exciting initiative.

Your Outland Impact 202. It’s time to celebrate the impact your Outlands had this year. The stories of life-transforming change, diving deep into how your clothes are made, every step of our supply chain, the projects being worked on behind the scenes, the goals we kicked, the ones we didn’t, and everything in between. Explore your Outland Denim 2021 Impact Report HERE

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