Fashion is one of the most influential industries, with 150 billion garments being produced annually, according to ShareCloth. However, the wave of fast fashion also accounts for a serious amount of pollution; in fact, the industry is the second-worst polluter after the petrochemical sector.
The World Economy Forum reported that fashion production makes up 10% of carbon emissions and 85% of all textiles, sending more than 90 million tons of discarded clothes to the dump each year.
Founded in April, FYNE is a Taiwanese startup that produces environmentally friendly clothes from leftover materials. The founder, Jacky Wang (王志仁), came up with the idea while visiting an exhibition showcasing the environment documentaries by Chi Po-lin (齊柏林).
After seeing scenes of his devastated homeland, Wang was determined to work on upcycling textiles, Business Today reported.
Workers handling recycled materials. (Business Today photo)
FYNE is committed to carbon-free solutions and is the first in Taiwan to recycle, degrade, and remake clothes, Wang said. Even though the cost of biodegradable materials is six times higher than normal plastics, Wang still insists on keeping the whole process sustainable, including the packing bags.
"It is a sustainable recycling company as well as a clothing brand," said Wang. To achieve sustainability, every garment made by FYNE can be recycled by convenience stores, reducing the startup's carbon footprint. The company even comes up with rewards for customers who recycle the clothes.
Meanwhile, the brand DYCTEAM has come up with a series of products called "Re New," which include phone cases and cup sleeves made of recycled materials. DYCTEAM has drawn on a variety of materials like discarded fishing gear, recycled gauze, and organic cotton.
DYCTEAM uses degraded oyster shells to make clothes. (Business Today photo)
The company's latest innovation incorporates oyster shells into clothing. Clothes made from oyster shells can help regulate the body temperature, prevent bacterial growth, and eliminate body odors.
The third brand, Planedo, was founded by two architects seeking to make use of waste produced by other industries.
Through innovative textile technologies, Planedo keeps its recycled clothing elastic and durable. It uses such materials as fishing gear and processed coffee grounds, which also serve to get rid of odors.