Roughly 30% of clothing made annually goes to landfill unsold, often with the tags on and holes punched to make them unwearable whilst preserving brand equity.
If you didn’t know it already, the default business model in fashion is based on overproduction which drives the landfill crisis. It’s the dirty little secret at the heart of the industry that no one wants to talk about.
It’s completely insane, and it has got to stop if we have any chance whatsoever of combating climate change. Because according to Close the Loop, the textile waste that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, "and as it decomposes, it emits methane — a greenhouse gas 84x more potent than carbon.”
The good news is that the solution is really simple – make only what you sell.
5 little words with the power to completely transform an industry, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here at Citizen Wolf. Which is why we’re fond of saying that if you’re not on-demand, you’re not credibly sustainable.
1. OFF-CUT SCRAPS
Landfilling perfectly good, brand news clothes is a huge part of the problem but it’s not the whole of it. Every single year 60 BILLION m2 of fabric off-cuts also go from factory to landfill. We’re out to prove this fabric is not worthless and we thought – if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Literally.
Every single Magic Fit® Tshirt at Citizen Wolf is made on-demand to fit your body using our state of the art laser cutter. We're extremely diligent at minimising fabric offcuts during the nesting (aka markup) process, but even still we create a lot of waste - approximately 70 kg every month - which piles up pretty quickly...
We launch a new colour every fortnight, and so when it comes to colours for the Zero Waste Tote, we have everything under the sun. But just throwing random colours together never works, and after much trial and error we settled on a limited palette of tonal colours for the Zero Waste Tote in 4 colourways: ‘mostly’ red, ‘mostly’ green, ‘mostly’ blue and ‘mostly’ black.
The final step is the highly manual process of combining these similarly coloured pieces of fabric into a unique patchwork. It's time consuming and really a labour of love. Once we have the exterior shell, we attach an external screen printed pocket (so you can wear those values loud and proud!) and then add a lining made from upcycled City of Sydney event banners that are also rescued from landfill.
The result? Our famous Zero Waste Tote, each one a completely unique patchwork that creates a functional and planet friendly statement piece for every occasion.
OUR TRASH, YOUR TREASURE
What you wear really does tell a story. Not just about how it was made, but also as a statement about the type of world you want to live in. And you can’t get much closer to sporting your values in style than our Zero Waste Tote.
Each one is already unique, but if you want an extra special sample, we’re holding a series of DIY Zero Waste Workshops for Fashion Revolution across the weekend of April 24-25. You can choose your own colours, sew your own patchwork and take complete ownership over your very own Zero Waste Tote under the guidance of our staff right here in our St Peters factory.
Numbers are strictly limited, so be there or be square... because we all know the future of fashion is circular!