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The climate benefits of UPCYCLING

Image Credits: photo by Sara Verde, MUA by Isabel Miranda and modeling by Giulia Zimmermann

 

The textile industry isn’t known for being environmentally friendly.

Over 11 million tons of textile materials are wasted each year, and with just 500 gr of textile waste emitting over 3 Kg of CO2, that’s no small footprint left behind.

Every time a new product is made from raw materials, large amounts of energy are consumed. We can think of the role energy plays in the four stages of product development: extraction of raw materials, the manufacture of these materials into products, product use by consumers and product disposal.

Recycling uses less energy, which translates into fewer fossil fuels burned and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Many clothing and textile companies boast that they their products are made from recycled materials. And that's an alternative.

However, when we recycle something, generally the components are broken down which decreases the quality and the process still involves consuming extra energy and resources and also extra machinery. 

On the other hand, upcycling is to re-purpose something that otherwise would be considerar waste, that will be "upped" in its value and quality.

Besides that, by upcycling we remove the need to produce new or raw materials. By reducing this need, we can cut down on air pollution, water pollution, landfill use, and even greenhouse gas emissions.

We do need to make the question: why throw something away or degrade its quality when it can be used as-is to make something else? 

From a human and social development point of view, upcycling allows us to be creative and improve our self-expression,  bringing a sense of happiness and well being that is hardly found within industrialization.

When you upcycle, you are engaging with a community of individuals who want to create some level of uniqueness with unused items.

And when you buy upcycled products, besides minimizing your footprint, you are usually supporting artisans, creatives, local and familiar companies, start-ups, dreamers and entrepreneurs or even small communities all round the world.

Whenever you choose upcycled clothes you are also allowing the flowering of local business networks, the recover of ancestral crafts, collaboration and the empowerment of the community with new skills and new employment and entrepreneurship models that are a win-win for all parties involved. 

That's why at the core center of our business is upcycling. Because, besides being  even greener than recycling it's designed to be human centered also.

So, we believe that climate action starts with choosing processes, business models, partners, products and lifestyles that respect us as humans, in all our dimensions, and, therefore, the planet. 

Climate action is about our journey as humanity and is calling everyone to act and impACT NOW.