By Truc Nguyen

The fashion industry has a major sustainability problem. Fortunately, things are starting to change thanks to some major innovations in textile development.

It can take 2,650 litres of water to make a single cotton t-shirt, and the global textile industry produces an astounding 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. At the other end of the product life-cycle, North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothes to landfill annually, most of which could have been reused or recycled, and some of which is still unworn.


Each garment from Everlane’s ReNew outerwear and fleece collection is made using 15 to 60 recycled plastic bottles, and Swedish retailer H&M has introduced materials such as Bionic Yarn, a recycled polyester made from recovered shoreline waste, and Econyl, a regenerated nylon made from items including old fishing nets and carpets, into its accessibly priced Conscious Exclusive collection. (The H&M group has also pledged to use only sustainably-sourced or recycled materials for all of their brands by 2030.)


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