The Life Cycle of a Garment: Avoiding Landfill

The Life Cycle of a Garment: Avoiding Landfill

How do we prolong the life of a garment once its been purchased? How can we avoid adding to landfill completely? Designers and distributors both have responsibilities to respect the earth, but lets talk about the buyers duties to divert their clothing away from landfill. Lets face it, when we buy something we really love, we want to look after it. And garments look so much better on humans than they do in landfill. When purchasing some form of new get-up, think about its lifecycle. Incidentally its called lifecycle thinking.

ethi sustainable fashion quote

The production phase starts at the fibre (or cradle), moves on to the textile production, and then to design and manufacturing. It reaches the distribution and retail phase before being purchased. It then undergoes the use phase. Mostly, after this phase it is tragically sent to either landfill (the grave) or to be incinerated (cremated). Call it dire, but thats exactly what it is. So much of fast fashionis made from polyester, which is essentially plastic, so a lot of what is clogging landfill will take up to 200 years to break down. Instead it is burned, creating fumes that your lungs nor the planet should ever breathe in.

The list is long for social and environmental impacts of the disposal phase of fashion, so weve come up with some ideas that benefit humans and the environment. Lifecycle thinkingcan help you to prolong the life of a garment or divert it away from the far-too-well-stocked landfill sites.


  • Take a moment to slow down and repair or alter that piece you love
  • Be mindful of care instructions when laundering. No one likes a long instruction manual, but luckily a tag on a fashion item is about a sixteenth of the size, containing bold instructions
  • Purchase clothing designed for closed-loop systems, which allows the opportunity to reuse the materials of a product that has come to the end of its useful life
  • Hand down your pre-loved, story-rich piece to another human. Buying timeless is helpful for this
  • If you dont love it, then leave it alone. Purchase things that you know youll want for a long time. Your wallet and the earth dont like temporary fixes brought by fast fashion.

ethi sustainable fashion quote

More and more consumers are becoming aware that fast fashion is unethical and leads to excessively clogged landfill sites. There is no such thing as throwing away. Awaydoesn't exist on our planet. For consumers shifting to ethically and sustainably made fashion, purchasing from Ethi promotes a long lifespan for garments made ethically thanks to the transparency of ourEMPATHYvalues.

Written by Sheridan Butler 

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