Globally, approximately 73% of all textile waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated. The Atacama Desert in Chile, home to the world’s second largest clothing cemetery, has recently become a symbol of fast-paced fashion and the emergence of textile waste. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, 21 million tons of clothing ends up in landfills each year. In the Atacama Desert alone, about 39,000 tons of clothing are discarded each year.
“In addition to the challenges posed by fast fashion, it is clear that we have to change the way we use and care for our clothes. We know from studies that extending the useful life of our clothes by just nine months can reduce our carbon footprint, water impact, and waste generated by 20-30%. “There are different ways to do this: repair or recycle used clothes, and steam or wash clothes in a more sustainable way,” said Vanessa Botani, Vice President of Sustainability at Electrolux Group.
For all this, Electrolux has partnered with designer duo Rave Review, known for their colorful collections of recycled high-end clothing with a mission: to give new life to discarded clothing recovered from the Atacama clothing cemetery. The result is the world’s first recycled Atacama fashion collection. This is intended to draw attention to the growing problem of wastage of fashion and to show an inspiring example that can lead to a change in consumer behaviour.
“We have always believed that in the future fashion would not be able to exist as it is today. I think we all need to change in one way or another. When it comes to fashion, caring what we already have is what we already have,” said Livia Schock, Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Rave Review. Probably the most realistic and easiest way to do it.
The goal: to make clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact by 2030.
By modernizing care technology for all fabrics and inspiring better care habits, we have set ourselves the goal of halving the environmental impact of garment care and extending the average life of garments.
“Electrolux has a long-term strategy that aims to significantly reduce our impact on the climate. As clothing care experts, we are already developing advanced technologies that make the clothes we wear last longer, while reducing water and energy consumption. But, as a company, we cannot offer the only solution. We hope to inspire and educate consumers on how to make clothes they already own last longer, and we want to do everything possible to help make that change,” said Elisa Stabon, Care Experience Development Manager at Electrolux.
Studies show that there is an urgent need to help people understand how to take better care of their clothes and encourage them to adopt more sustainable cleaning practices: less washing, more steam, washing full loads, and washing at lower temperatures.
“If everyone makes a simple change to break the cycle, each of us can reduce the environmental impact of our textiles. Lowering washing temperatures and changing from detergent to liquid detergents can save 50kg of CO2 per machine per year. This can cause It will make a huge impact if it is expanded to millions of consumers following the same model,” concludes Vanessa Bhutani.