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overproduction in the textile industry

the textile industry is one of the largest and most widespread sectors of the global economy. in recent years, the textile industry has developed into a complex network of companies,...

the textile industry is one of the largest and most widespread sectors of the global economy.

in recent years, the textile industry has developed into a complex network of companies, suppliers and customers. there are many reasons for the growing popularity of the sector, but as complexity increases, so does the problem of overproduction. textile overproduction has become an overwhelming global crisis that is not only having an increasingly severe impact on the planet, but is also affecting trade and industry.

in this respect, the textile industry represents an area where sustainability is playing an increasingly important role. with dwindling resources, rising sea levels and other climate challenges, companies need to think about sustainable practices to protect both the environment and their customers. but first, let's look at the reasons for overproduction.

fast fashion - today a trend, tomorrow residual waste

the fast fashion industry is generated by the short-lived nature of inexpensive textile products. profit and availability are clearly of more interest than the quality of the products and their sustainability. classic suppliers of fast fashion such as Zara, H&M, Mango etc. offer up to 24 different collections per year. this leads to the fact that what cannot be sold in the sale at the end of the season at the latest ends up as textile waste. since the storage of the goods means a significant financial expense, they are shredded or disposed of in other ways or incinerated.

this already makes it clear that one of the most significant problems of overproduction lies in this "fast fashion" business model. studies also show that the quality of the products deteriorates significantly, and that companies are encouraged to buy more and more goods because of the purchasing advantages they enjoy when purchasing large quantities. in this respect, profit is also the focus of interest. the market research institute "Euromonitor International" has determined that 230 million textiles are not sold in Germany each year.

the crisis in figures

  • depending on the study, between 1.1 and 1.3 million tons of clothing end up in used clothing containers or street collections in Germany every year
  • 230 million new items of clothing are shredded every year; according to the university of Bamberg, the number of returned items in Germany already amounted to 315 million packages in 2020, of which every second return consisted of clothing and shoes
  • the textile and apparel industry's share of global co2 emissions is between three and ten percent, depending on studies
  • at the current growth rate, emissions from the fashion industry are expected to rise to around 2.7 billion tons per year by 2030. to meet the Paris climate target of 1.5 degrees, the fashion industry must consume no more than around 1.1 billion tons of co2

the way out of the crisis

as already mentioned, the storage of unsold goods is unprofitable for the companies. donating the clothing to charitable organizations would protect the environment and make the clothing available to people who really need it. however, this option fails for companies because of the 19% sales tax hurdle levied by the government on donations in kind. so even solid labels are reluctant to do so, and they also want to maintain their exclusivity.

so, how can we combat the fast fashion waste avalanche? a successful approach to solving the problem is offered by the tightening of the recycling management act in Germany, which came into force in 2019. since then, the transparency obligation as well as the promotion of the improvement of recycling technologies have been in effect. the destruction of usable goods has been banned.

in this respect, a change towards sustainability in the textile industry is indispensable, especially as this has been identified as a particular challenge by the EU in its socially and environmentally compatible strategy for sustainable and recyclable textiles. thus, the fashion of the future should be produced under ecological and environmentally friendly production conditions that promote a fair circular economy. under the concept of capsule wardrobe, the quality of clothing should be so durable and high quality that fabrics can be repaired and reused. on the one hand, this leads to a reduction in waste production and protects the environment in the long term. through materials that are created for a long service life and/or are biodegradable, natural, non-renewable resources can be conserved, ultimately leading to sustainable consumer behavior.

in addition, fashion companies can take further measures to decelerate the flow of goods, such as renting, second-hand and upcycling.

in the meantime, awareness has at least partially arrived at the conventional vertical companies such as H&M and Zara, they have already been investing in second-hand stores or pre-loved stores for some time - a less profitable venture for companies producing "low-quality goods", but the offers have a positive effect on the profile of the companies and customer loyalty.

at Spleisure, we speak out clearly against overproduction and push the sustainable use of resources for a better future with our on-demand business model - feel.great.change


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