Can “True Materialism” Save the Planet?

While more and more companies are emphasizing the importance of “closing the loop” — a process wherein manufacturers are “completely and perpetually recycling textiles” — non-profit, Greenpeace, thinks a better way for the clothing industry to lessen its environmental impact is by embracing “true materialism.”

As reported by Quartz, the group, citing the recent work of author Kate Fletcher, says that we’re in great need of “a switch from an idea of a consumer society where materials matter little, to a truly material society, where materials — and the world they rely on — are cherished.”

Calling on companies to make better, longer-lasting clothes, develop “services with a priority on repair,” and cut down on marketing campaigns that “reinforce the disposable/fast fashion mindset,” the outspoken organization says that the “immediate focus has to be on changing the way we produce and consume clothes in the first place… To slow down fashion.”

And while Greenpeace doesn’t discount the potential benefits of a “closed loop,” they don’t think the industry’s current efforts aren’t anywhere “near being viable yet.” (As of now, polyester can be extracted from cotton in the recycling process, for instance, but the cotton basically turns into powder.)

Even those companies making strides, like Nike and Adidas, are still putting the materials that are “most responsible for the devastating microfiber pollution turning up in our oceans and food” back into the system.

So, instead of just making more shit, Greenpeace thinks that “brands should promote the true value of their products and encourage a change in their customers’ attitudes.” Sounds like a good idea, to me.

You can read more about it at Quartz.

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