The way in which society consumes products and empowers economies changes by the century. This is a direct reflection of new inventions making products faster to manufacture and easier to buy. With the creation of easy manufacturing of single use plastics and mass production of clothing in the 20th century, we as consumers fell into a linear economy model. This means we buy a product, use it and then dispose of it in a landfill.
This linear economic cycle leads to over 5 percent of landfills across the U.S. being filled with old clothing.
From Linear to Circular: Breaking Bad Habits
Alongside those 20th century advancements, we have begun to see the negative impact it has on our planet. With a new understanding, a new mindset has emerged – reduce, reuse, recycle. A circular economy – when products are created, bought and repurposed or recycled instead of disposed of – reflects the change we’re seeking to enact to protect our planet. We’re also looking to run responsible, sustainable (both economic and environmental) businesses.
A company can participate in a circular economy by making sure their waste generated during the manufacturing process is either reintroduced to their production or upcycled into a new product or purpose. After consumers purchase their end product, like a garment, and after they’ve worn it bare, they can close the loop by dropping it in a textile recycling bin or having it upcycled by Reborn. In this way, the economy stays circular, or cradle to cradle, rather than cradle to grave.
When we practice circular economics in the textile and clothing industry, that 5 percent landfill textile waste begins to be eliminated.
Reborn Closes the Loop
At Reborn, we participate in a business model that reflects the tail end of a circular economy. We step in when a consumer is looking to upcycle their clothing to create a new product. We take those old garments and create a variety of Upcycle Collection products. Ensuring that we don’t create waste, we use the surplus of textiles and fabrics to create our Zero Waste Collection.