“Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Each year, UK consumers spend £44 billion on clothing – the equivalent of £1,700 per household.
Just as significant is the carbon footprint of this consumption, estimated at 38 million tonnes.
In addition, garment manufacture generates 1.8 million tonnes of waste material, and 6.3 billion m3 of water are used in the process – which is predominantly sited in water-poor countries.
Part of the problem underlying this inefficiency is that the global textile industry is fundamentally based on 19th century techniques and processes.
Traditional methods of dyeing and fabric preparation, garment assembly and finishing are not only wasteful, but can create harmful by-products.
Innovative additive manufacturing technology – under development at Loughborough University – will eradicate this waste and reduce pollutants, meeting the growing demand for apparel and footwear produced in a sustainable and ethical manner.
What’s more, the technology could make bespoke apparel an affordable high street reality.
Further information about the statistics provided on this page can be found in
Valuing our clothes (Wrap 2015).