For my graphic novel, “Staff Trash: A Time Traveler’s Information to Sustainability,” I discovered a variety of compelling historical past about clothes. A recurring theme (notably earlier than the Industrial Revolution) was the reuse of supplies. A pair of woolen trousers might be remade right into a shirt, then a hat, the scraps from the hat damaged all the way down to be woven again into yarn (the shoddy technique, additionally known as “salvage”) and so forth. Evaluate this with right this moment, the place, in keeping with the Environmental Safety Company, the typical U.S. client throws away 81.5 kilos of clothes yearly.
It’s straightforward to really feel overwhelmed by the statistics: How can we flip the tide when confronted with such staggering numbers? The reply, specialists say, might lie in each conventional practices and technological improvements. Right here’s the place my journey began, and how one can begin one, too.
Jaclyn Peiser contributed reporting. Modifying by Hannah Good, Karly Domb-Sadof and Robbie Olivas DiMesio. Design enhancing by Christine Ashack. Copy enhancing by Dorine Bethea and Ryan Weber.