The longer use and endless recycling of things is helping to create a circular economy

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | June 2020

The end of trash

As I have described in my first blog article in June 2019,, the major discussion in the leather industry is how to become “greener & sustainable”. The Covid-19 crisis "opened the door" for the (leather) fashion industry to avoid trash.

A zero waste world sounds impossible. But in the cradle-to-cradle vision of the book by McDonough & Braungart about the circular economy, waste doesn’t even exist as a concept. Every material is either well- designed and capable of being endlessly recycled or biological and safe to eat or compost.

Keep using things longer, recycle endlessly in order to create a circular economy. The cradle-to-cradle vision pursues closing the circle by:

  • Use less: Renewable energy replaces fossil fuels; rental or sharing businesses serve more people with fewer products.
  • Design wisely: Machines and other products are designed to be long-lasting and easy to repair or ephemeral and easy to break down into basic components.
  • No waste: All nutrients flow in cycles. Almost nothing is released as a pollutant or dumped in landfill.
  • Restrain yourself: Fly and drive less. Eat all the food you buy. Wear clothes you already have. Avoid single-use plastics.
  • Repaired and reuse: Buy fewer products of a higher quality and repair them when they break. Donate the clothes you don’t wear.
  • Recycle everything: Compost food waste (or feed it to your pig). Recycle everything you can and lobby for more recycling.

Covid-19 pushed the button for a non-reversible process where brands and fashion designers stand up to revolt against the rhythms and dynamics of the fast fashion business model. They ask to slow down and urge to reduce manufacturing, therefore going back to the traditional seasons and consequently preventing waste.

The pandemic has provided an opportunity to carry out a paramount and desirable model change with only two seasons per year.

Our industry must make use of this opportunity and promote leather as a high quality bio-material designed to last and easy to repair. Last but not least, to close the circle of zero waste, leather must be used and not dumped in landfill.

Can we make it happen? Yes!
Can we afford not to? No!

Rodolfo, Germany

Automotive leather specialist at TFL
#Leathersmelllover
Send a message

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