With that in mind, consumers have become very conscious when it comes to the garments they buy and what to do with them after they are no longer needed. Some consumers adopt a minimalist lifestyle, where they own a select few higher quality garments which are very versatile.
Consumers have also begun seeking different styles of businesses when it comes to what to do with their unwanted garments. One style is consignment shops which give garments a second life. Just because a garment no longer fits or isn’t the consumer's style, it does not need to be thrown away. Consignment stores will pay the seller for select garments. Thrift stores operate strictly by donations. Some stores, like Eileen Fisher, offer coupons to consumers who return gently used garments to their store. Eileen Fisher then resells that garment on their Renew program website. Other companies, like Rent the Runway, rent their garments for consumers to use. When the consumer is finished wearing it, they send it back to be returned.
When garments reach the end of their life, unable to be worn or repurposed there is an option for them to be recycled. Textiles that are recycled are turned into usable products such as car seat stuffing, automobile insulation, wiping cloths, home insulation or pressed back into fibers and turned into yarn. Recycling textiles gives unwanted clothes a fresh start as another product, which keeps them out of landfills.
Consumers are not the only ones taking a stand when it comes to being more sustainable. Companies are creating new processes and technologies that optimize resources. For example, a new process that use less water when dying fabrics. Currently, the world uses 1.3 trillion gallons of water per year, for fabric dying. Additionally, others are creating a shorter supply chain and limiting the amount of energy used when producing garments. These innovations not only are better for the environment but also for a company’s margins.
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