A fashion company based in St. Petersburg, Russia, takes piles of junk and transforms them into one-of-a-kind accessories. Unfortunately, landfills in Russia are more poorly maintained and less supervised than those in other countries in Europe.
In fact, one landfill in moscow It is at least 10 stories high. Authorities warn that poor waste management could lead to infectious diseases and contaminate groundwater.
Due to the terrible garbage situation in Russia, the fashion company 99Recycle decided to take matters into their own hands. Workers sifted mountains of trash to collect various recyclable materials. Then they turned them into novelty accessories and recycled school supplies. The company designed items such as backpacks, handbags, pencil and laptop cases, and toys such as skateboards and bicycles.
His ingenuity caught the attention of the officials overseeing the 2020 Saint Petersburg Awards. The Recycling / Recycling Project of the Year award was awarded to 99 Recycle for its sustainable products.
In the modern world, “fast fashion” is a growing problem. Companies aim to create large quantities of clothing as cheaply as possible, regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, keeping costs low comes at a devastating cost to the environment. According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry produces a staggering 10% of total carbon emissions.
Some other surprising statistics on fast fashion include the following:
Below are some interesting facts.
The fashion industry uses a lot of water
- The fashion industry It is one of the most water-intensive industries in the world, second only to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. It consumes about 79 billion cubic meters of water per year.
- Making just one cotton T-shirt requires around 2,700 liters of water and a pair of jeans requires almost 7,600 liters.
- The water needed to make a T-shirt could provide one person with drinking water for 900 days.
- The fashion industry contributes greatly to water pollution. Textile dyeing is the second largest water pollutant in the world. Runoff from the dyeing process goes to rivers, streams, and ditches.
- Cotton requires 5,283 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of the crop. This amount of cotton can produce just one T-shirt and one pair of jeans. According to the WWF, “Current cotton production methods are environmentally unsustainable.”
- Washing clothes also creates harmful pollution of the air and oceans. Every year, around 500,000 tons of microfibers are released into the oceans from clothing alone. This equates to 50 billion plastic bottles in microplastics.
Clothes litter the world’s landfills
- The equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes goes to a landfill every second. A staggering 85% of textiles end up in landfills each year, where they are burned or simply thrown away. Sydney Harbor could fill up annually with the amount of clothes thrown away.
- People bought 60% more clothes in 2014 compared to 2000, but kept the clothes only half the time.
- Since 2000, the production of the fashion industry has almost doubled.
- Fashion companies in Europe only offered an average of two collections per year in 2000. In 2014, that increased to five.
The impact of synthetics
- Most fibers actually come from polyester, a type of plastic found in about 60% of clothing. Polyester production launches two to three times more carbon emissions than cottonand polyester doesn’t break down in the ocean.
- A 2017 report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) offered stronger evidence against the fashion industry. It was estimated that 35% of all microplastics, small pieces of non-biodegradable plastics, in the ocean come from washing synthetic products like polyester.
- Just one example of the of the fashion industry In Uzbekistan a catastrophic impact on the environment can be observed. There, the relentless cultivation of cotton caused the Aral Sea to dry up completely after 50 years. To put that in perspective, the Aral Sea was once one of the four largest lakes in the world.
- In total, the fashion industry causes 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide.
How 99Recycle is revolutionizing the fashion industry with sustainability
As you can see, fast fashion and clothing production in general contributes greatly to environmental degradation. 99Recycle is just one company that aims to drastically reduce its carbon footprint.
The company uses a large 3D printer very similar to the type used by Hyundai. This 3D printer only uses recycled plastic as a raw material and creates textiles from hand-sewn products. This ensures that each accessory or garment retains its individuality. So far, 99Recycle has collected more than 70 tons of recycled plastic in collaboration with local recycling agencies.
“The process of preparing the materials is more complicated than that of ordinary materials. Most of our time is occupied by preparation, because we have to clean it, level it, select it, reject some materials, “said Olesya Kulik, designer of 99Recycle. Euronews.
Since 95% of all waste in Russia ends up in landfills, 99Recycle does not want to contribute further to the problem. Instead, they want to be part of the solution to combat the throwaway culture. In addition to creating green products, the company gives classes and conferences on recycling and sustainability. They hope that their little influence will help people to be more aware of their daily habits.
“Globally, humanity needs to solve the garbage problem, there is no way around it,” says 99Recycle co-founder Anton Rykachevskiy. “There is a lot of garbage appearing and we take on the role of people who inspire everyone around us. We drink something that looks like garbage. Now people call it recyclable materials, it’s good. And we create great and exceptional things that weren’t made from recyclable materials before. “
Final Thoughts on Russia-Based Fashion Company Turning Trash Into Treasure
So who would have thought that? rotting garbage in a landfill could it become a fashion statement? That’s exactly what 99Recycle had in mind when the founders created the company. They check landfills and work with recycling nonprofits to create unique and sustainable items.
The company runs a small online store that sells bags, backpacks, fanny packs, and even skateboards. They also offer to work with corporate companies on promotional products and branded merchandise. In fact, 99Recycle shows that the fashion industry can embrace sustainable practices while still creating aesthetically appealing products.