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Responsible Design: Re-using/Recycling of Clothing

Hussey, Clare, Sinha, Pammi and Kelday, Fiona (2009) Responsible Design: Re-using/Recycling of Clothing. In: Design Connexity: 8th European Academy of Design Conference, 1-3 April, 2009, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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Textile and clothing recycling and reuse is an under researched field, but there is a growing body of literature driven by government concerns and policies about waste management. Studies (ERM, 2007) have noted that the environmental impacts arising from the disposal of clothing to landfill is significant enough to warrant a thorough examination of the opportunities for improving the reuse and recycling of clothing. Three issues have been identified that influence the management of textile waste: government (trade tariffs and policies); company (eg. corporate social responsibility, location of production or manufacture); consumer (trends, tastes, spending capacity)

This paper reports the initial findings of research for the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse (CRR) ‘Uniform Reuse’ project: the process at a textile recycler in London with landfill waste of no more than 1% of its daily tonnage collected. The process is displayed as an IDEF chart developed through a site visit and interview with the directors of the firm who are involved in the daily activities of the process. Some of the issues raised are: the capacity for waste disposal – shipping 545kg of waste fabric on a daily basis, the (somewhat surprising) seasonal nature of the process, the amount of market research required for effective reuse, the necessity for developing customer relationships over a prolonged period of time, and the need for developing government policies to support and regulate the legitimate collection and use of waste. We highlight the implications for fashion design, e.g. use of natural fibres, difficulties of recycling synthetic fabrics (taking into account the development of closed loop polyester recycling at Patagonia and Teijin) and discuss some of the solutions being developed.

Keywords: textile recycling process, fashion design and reuse

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
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References: BIN AKASAH, Z., A. and BIN AMIRUDIN, R. (2006), “Maintenance management process model for school buildings: an application of IDEF0 modelling methodology”, The International Conference on Construction Industry 2006 (ICCI, Universitas Bung Hatta. Padang. INDONESIA July 2006 DEFRA (2006) Recycling of Low Grade Clothing Waste Conducted by Oakdene Hollins Ltd, the Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd and Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute Ltd. FIELD, S. (2000) The Internationalisation of the Second-Hand Clothing Trade: The Case of Zimbabwe. Unpublished PhD Thesis, African Studies Centre, Coventry University: UK. FORUM FOR THE FUTURE and Marks and Spencer (2007) Fashioning Sustainability: A review of the sustainability impacts of the clothing industry, UK. MADSEN, JACOB, HARTLIN, BRYAN, PERUMALPILLAI, SHAHILA, SELBY, SARAH AND AUMÔNIER, SIMON. (2007). Mapping of Evidence on Sustainable Development Impacts that Occur in Life Cycles of Clothing: A Report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Ltd. Defra, London. MHANGO, M., W., and NIEHM, L., S. (2005), “The second-hand clothing distribution channel: Opportunities for retail entrepreneurs in Malawi”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Volume 9 Number 3 2005 pp. 342-356, Emerald Group Publishing Limited TUKKER, HUPPES, GUINÉE, HEIJUNGS, DE KONING, VAN OERS, SUH, GEERKEN, VAN HOLDERBEKE, JANSEN, AND NIELSEN (2006), Environmental Impact of Products (EIPRO): Analysis of the life cycle environmental impacts related to the final consumption of the EU-25, Technical Report EUR 22284 EN, European Commission. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE INSTITUTE FOR MANUFACTURING (2006) Well dressed? The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles in the United Kingdom, University of Cambridge, “Product roadmaps – Clothing”, November 2008., “design projects”, November 2008.
Depositing User: Pammi Sinha
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2013 15:22
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 20:03


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