Recycled Fabrics – a way to be as Green as the message I deliver?


Green message, green wardrobe?

When I speak to people on sustainability-related topics I have learned green washing or talking about being Green without being green myself does my cause no good. How can I tell people how to be more green if I fail to live as green as I can?

I normally speak to professional audiences therefore I try to dress in a professional manner. I am comfortable in a collared shirt with a blazer.  One day I thought to myself,” why shouldn’t my wardrobe be as green as my message?”

I tried to reach out to folks to see what it would take to create a 100% recyclable blazer to wear during my presentations. Once I found someone, who connected me with a designer who produced custom made recyclable garments what I learned surprised me.

The reality about Recycled fabric

I believed initially if a fabric was composed with natural fibers, the material would be ‘biodegradable’ and more sustainable.

The reality is modern landfills are not conducive to biodegradable or compostable materials. The process of biodegradation requires air, water and bacteria. Landfills are designed specifically to ensure these items are not present.

I read about an example about a 5,500-year old shoe found in Armenia in 2010 which was made with leather and grass, natural materials and was found perfectly preserved.


Until Recycled fabrics are available

The short-term action until recycled fabrics are available is to purchase high-quality durable clothes. Once purchased, the clothes should be repaired before being replaced.  If the need arises to replace the item of clothing do not place the aged fabric in the trash.  Donate the clothes.  Many charities can determine if the fabric is suited for different use other than placing the fabric in the landfill.

I hope my future audiences will understand when I explain to them that at present time my message is much greener than my wardrobe.