Sustainability and Upcycling
More than fifteen million tonnes of textile waste is generated each year in the United States, a figure that has doubled in the last twenty years. Here at Clutch Made we believe in local and sustainable making in the USA instead of putting environmental and social burdens on less developed or disadvantaged communities. Making in the USA is all about paying homage to traditional craft, knowing where your products are produced and what footprint they amount.
Sustainability and upcycling has been at the forefront of many social and political debates after climate change warnings were brought to the spotlight in recent years. Not only are individuals being held accountable, but also large corporations, particularly in fast fashion.
Fast fashion is the current darling of the industry. In high school english class we were told to 'kill your darlings', so why is the popularity of fast fashion only rising? Brands like Zara and H&M have often refused to acknowledge the less than miniumum wage and less than standard working conditions that their supply factories work under. Not only that, but the impacts their mass production has on the communities where the factories are harbored are never recgonisized with accountability. Accountability is so easy when it can be pinpointed to one person, but the fact that these larger corporations outsource from gives them a sense of entitlement to hide from or place the blame elsewhere.
In this political climate it is so important for us to take a step back and realise that ethical responsibility and commitment to sustainability is not just a fad. Companies we love like Helpsy are closing the production loop in fashion. @helpsy on instagram prescribes the motto #ClothesArentTrash and collects 25million lbs of unwanted clothing to reuse and recycle.
At Clutch Made we are ever-evolving to this political climate. What can we do to be better, to make better, to impact less? We cannot stress enough the significance of making in the usa, we do everything in-house, crafting in the Garment District. All of our amazing employees are treated with the same respect that Clutch Made is founded upon, and we try everyday to limit our waste by making samples efficiently and ensuring that every final product is crafted to perfection.
So what can you do? Follow instagrams like @helpsy and @clutchmadefactory to be inspired and get involved with what they do. Buy local, know where your product is coming from and how it is made. Another great alternative that we love is mixing new and locally crafted products with vintage pieces, so that no piece of clothing ever goes to waste. We love stores like @beaconscloset and @buffaloexchange.