How Young Local Fashion Labels Are Reducing Textile Waste – Her World Singapore

How Young Local Fashion Labels Are Reducing Textile Waste – Her World Singapore

We are often confronted with sobering data about how the fashion industry perpetuates throwaway culture. For instance, consider a 2022 Bloomberg study stating that the fashion industry produces a staggering 80 to 100 billion new garments annually. Another, albeit older, but equally eye-opening study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2019 reported that only one per cent of all clothing ever gets recycled, leaving the massive pile of clothing to accumulate in colossal waste heaps.

textile waste
Credit: Getty Images

Waste material from a garment factory is being discarded into a canal in Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The improper disposal practices contribute to environmental degradation and pose significant challenges to water quality in the region.

This sentiment is echoed by the luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective recently, which launched a social media campaign illustrating that the reported 92 million tonnes of textile waste produced yearly – according to – could fill four Marina Bay Sands buildings every day. The brand has taken a step further by combating fashion waste, banning 30 fast fashion brands from its site.

Amidst this textile tumult, a breath of fresh air is blowing in the form of a renewed interest in thrifted garments and clothing swaps. It appears a cadre of young designers is on a mission to disrupt our fashion consumption habits, transforming the mundane into the extraordinary through the artful practice of upcycling. Ahead, we meet four brands who are turning second-hand garments and materials into one-of-a-kind creations. Scroll on for more.