SUEZ and MakeSense teamed up in 2014 to create the Future of Waste program, focused on alternative solutions for reducing, reusing and recycling waste. For COP21, Future of Waste is taking action and launching its first Waste&Climate Impact Program, which aims to build public understanding of the links between global warming and waste, while helping entrepreneurs to highlight their positive impacts on climate. Each week, open_resource gives Future of Waste its own slot to talk about an entrepreneur from the Waste&Climate program. Credit: Jeff Sheldon
Credit: Jeff Sheldon
Very high levels of waste are being generated by the development of sales of clothing with short lifespans and low costs for consumers.
Faced with this issue, the company Tale Me has developed a clothing rental service – a way of optimising their lifespan and therefore minimising the environmental impact.
According to the European Commission, EU consumers throw away 5.8 million tons of textiles each year, with only 1.5 million tons (25%) recycled. So the rest is sent to landfills or incinerated. However, textile production involves a number of social and environmental costs.
For instance, it takes an average of 2,700 litres of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt. As such, worldwide, cotton production consumes 256 billion cubic metres of water annually. The treatment of textiles at the end of their lifespan also has major environmental impacts .
However, it is difficult to change habits that are already well established. It is a challenge for clothing producers to source supplies of quality material, while respecting high environmental and societal standards, and this requires each and every one of us to change the way we consume. Similarly, while many sectors are opening up to collaborative consumption, the concept of ownership when it comes to clothes is still firmly anchored in people’s mindsets.
The company : Tale Me
Tale Me has launched an online clothing rental solution based on a system of subscription packages, available throughout Europe. Tale Me offers a unique range of clothes, all eco-designed and locally made, for mums at every stage in their pregnancy and for children from birth to the age of four. During their entire lifecycle, Tale Me clothes emit six times less CO2 equivalent than clothes bought from a traditional major clothes store . But this impact is further strengthened by the fact that each item of clothing rented is then reused by other people. This prevents more clothes from being produced, bought and thrown away. We talk about the functional economy: Tale Me offers a groundbreaking innovation, replacing the acquisition of items with a service for integrated solutions, aligned with consumers’ needs and focused on reducing environmental impacts.
Mud Jeans is another company that has chosen to focus on eco-designs for its products in order to limit their environmental impacts and extend their lifecycle. Other firms such as Wear a Story or even Axelle et Cie are recover pre-owned fabrics to make new creations
To go further with Future of Waste
To go further, you can contribute to the development of these solutions by working with MakeSense and Future of Waste to solve the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, or participate in the discussions at COP21 by visiting Voxe.org.