With a national production that exceeded 30 million tons of waste in 2018, the problem of landfilling is reaching worrying dimensions. An emergency that is becoming more and more pressing not only for the strong economic impact, but above all for the damage caused by the introduction of harmful substances into the environment with disastrous consequences on the air, water and soil.
Hence the need to try to reduce as much as possible the production of waste by transforming it into materials that can be reused. An easily implemented process to help solve many of the problems deriving from a consumerist and poorly respectful of the environment lifestyle, recycling allows to give a new function to existing objects through the reuse of recyclable materials to be considered resources and no longer waste.
A trend that in recent times seems to have become a real necessity. If, in fact, until a few years ago the interest of the new generations in vintage fashion and its modern retro adaptations was driven more than anything else by an aesthetic preference and the desire to own unique and unrepeatable pieces, lately the widespread attitude towards the recycling of objects, garments, accessories and materials has become an ethical choice fueled by a new and deeper awareness. A trend more than ever destined to become one of the cornerstones of ecology, capable of giving life to a radical change in our behavior and our culture.
Starting from small daily actions, it is possible that recycling gradually turns into collective action, able to counter the classic model “extract – produce – use – throw away” in favor of a more forward-looking and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The circular economy as a virtuous process
The circular economy is a production and consumption model that involves sharing, lending, reusing, repairing, reconditioning and recycling existing materials and products; it extends the life cycle of products, helping to reduce waste to a minimum. Once a product has finished its function, the materials it is made of are, if possible, reintroduced into the economic cycle, so that they can be continuously reused, generating further value. A process that favors a series of advantages that we can summarize as follows:
- Saving of natural resources and raw materials – By recycling paper, glass and plastic, it is not necessary to use a large number of raw materials to manufacture new products: this will save a large amount of natural resources, consequently protecting woods and forests.
- Energy saving – Recycling allows us to save energy in two ways: while reusing materials prevents us from consuming energy for extraction, transport and processing activities, producing new products with recycled materials will be easier and less expensive: producing paper and glass with recycled materials it consumes 25% less energy than with raw materials.
- Pollution reduction – While making products of any kind pollute the air, rivers, lakes and seas due to factory chimneys and chemicals used in the processing of paper or plastic, the use of recycled materials helps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to protect the aquifers by preserving the habitat of many species.
- Job creation – The infrastructure needed to create recycling plants would end up generating more jobs than are currently available with the waste incineration method. A reuse supported by alternative commercial networks that would also give space to new entrepreneurial activities.
Creative recycling in fashion: The Re-Pet choice
Born as a niche phenomenon, Upcycling, or creative recycling, is to be considered an economic and innovative strategy of the fashion system. A small revolution that also involves the big brands, many of which, thanks to the pandemic and the load of unsold goods, choose to create new garments and accessories starting from the existing ones, whether it is a finished suit, warehouse stock, vintage pieces, but also of unused fabrics and raw materials.
In this regard, garments made of Re-Pet (a new polymer obtained through recovery processes of the common Pet) help to channel the creative path on an increasingly sustainable and respectful trail for the environment and people.