Cradle to Cradle Design: Is it worth Adopting in the fashion industry? | Beatrice Bayliss

Cradle to Cradle Design: Is it worth Adopting in the fashion industry?

As the fast fashion industry continues to grow, there is an ever increasing issue of overconsumption and overproduction of products. Aside from this, textiles generate considerable amounts of material waste when they are discarded, further aggravating the waste problem. On average, Americans throw away 81.5lbs of clothes each year and in the US, 11.3 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills yearly. We need to adhere to a Cradle to Cradle approach in order to minimise the amount of waste we create in our world because fashion is inevitable and essential.


What Is Cradle To Cradle?

Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is a term used to describe products or materials that can be reused or recycled indefinitely. Waste materials can be reused as inputs into other processes according to the Cradle to Cradle principle. Ecological sustainability and resource efficiency should be the primary objectives of our circular economy. With C2C's design and manufacturing services, that can be accomplished. As part of this approach, raw materials are sourced and extracted, products are manufactured, used, recovered, and repurposed. 


How Does It Work?

Cradle-to-Cradle products can be designed in two ways. First, the biological cycle that enables the environment to reuse nutrients and minerals necessary for life by breaking down and incorporating raw materials into living organisms. Ecosystems maintain balance as a result, and life thrives because of biodegradable materials. Second, the technical cycle enables circular economy systems to reduce waste and pollution by maximising the use of resources in a continuous manner and ensuring that products and materials are always of the highest quality and value possible. Since biodegradable materials cannot be replenished in the same period of time as they were consumed, they are permanently discarded once consumed.



It is possible for fashion companies to prevent negative environmental impacts by using recycled or renewable materials and avoiding toxic chemicals in the production process. According to the 2021 Fashion Revolution Transparency Index, less than two thirds of the world's major clothing brands use a "Manufacturing Restricted Substances List". This approach, if adopted by more and more fashion companies, can prevent landfill filling and reduce energy consumption during production and distribution. Consequently, the company's carbon footprint is reduced and the environment is safer. C2C can reduce waste by increasing the continuous flow of services, resources, and processes. Companies can also reclaim materials from products that would otherwise be thrown away by integrating end-of-life strategies like product take-back programs and recycling.


By Simran Raghav



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