Recycling, as a term, is the recycling of recyclable waste materials that are out of use as raw materials through various recycling methods to the manufacturing processes again. First of all, the need for raw materials is reduced, so that the consumed materials can be reintroduced into the recycling ring. To put it very simply, it is like removing unused knitted sweaters and knitting another sweater from those yarns.
Up-cycling, which is also known as creative reuse is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products that are considered to be of higher quality, such as artistic value or environmental value. If we simplify this, it is to create a different and new product by evaluating unused clothes, fabrics or materials.
If you ask the benefit of this for us; Up cycling reduces textile waste, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. With this application, it helps to reduce the demand for clothes production, which is rapidly depleting the planet's resources, and also allows us to give non-recyclable old clothes another chance.
According to the article published on Miniwiz in July 2020, the textile world is responsible for 4% of the world's total waste in 2018. This means 92 million tons of waste. In retrospect, in 2017 Burberry burned $36.50 million in unsold stock, Nike was caught smashing unsold shoes, fast fashion giant H&M is accused of burning 12 tons of unsold merchandise each year.
After all, fashion giants have promised to do better and are trying to show that they are rolling up their sleeves for more sustainable production. They want to take a more respectful and attentive stance in the world where pollution is tolerated so that we can buy more and consume more. Apart from a few companies and organizations that are committed to universal contribution as someone in the business, it seems that there are not many who want to compromise their earnings or brand value, at least for now. Unfortunately, in an effort to use recycling or upcycling as an advertisement, the old system is still running in the background.
There is a need for consumers to be more conscious and controlling at the same time. This planet belongs to all of us, and not being conscious and taking responsibility for an industry that is responsible for making this, our most precious home come back to us all as a climate crisis.
Of course, this change will not happen from today to tomorrow, but we will have moved towards a more sustainable life at every step. As both producers and consumers, we need time, yes, but we no longer have the luxury of waiting to start living consciously.