When we hear the word pollution, we usually straight away think of litter filled beaches, farm runoff in our waterways or the fumes that escape our cars. However, fashion is the second largest polluting industry in the world, with oil being number one.
Adding to the issue of pollution, also comes the problem of overproduction within the fashion industry.
Did you know that 30% of garments and clothing made in this world consumers won’t even buy. That is 25 billion pieces each year!
This enormous excess of clothing is turned to landfill or burned which is completely shameful considering there are ways in which clothing can easily be reused and recycled.
This year particularly, there has been much criticism and judgment towards the fashion industry from people in all areas of experience. Essentially, there are too many clothes in the world and our greediness combined with unsustainable consumption is leading us towards major economic and environmental trouble.
So is there a way to battle overproduction?
Overproduction in fashion is the process of producing a much higher number of goods compared to the demand. Therefore, the manufacturer’s factories are too big in size and large amounts of products that are left unsold build up.
A smarter design process is how this problem will eventually dissolve – with clearer communication between brands and factories and creating a business plan that caters for sustainability.
These smarter design procedures are increasingly being applied on a much larger scale with both accomplished and new designers looking to overcome this issue. One of these designers is Jeroen van der Heide, who says, “over production in clothing has to stop! It is a waste and it exhausts our earth”.
His solution? Zero waste t-shirts.
The Zero Waste T-Shirt
The Tshared zero waste tee is high in quality, being made with the most admirable organic materials, each custom to the buyer and made to last.
Only 111 pieces are made per graphic design, per colour, ensuring uniqueness to anyone who purchases one of these t-shirts.
Through the customisation of their shirts, buyers are more likely to form greater attachments to their pieces of clothing, meaning the garments will be held onto for a longer period of time, also lasting longer as they are more likely to be cared for a great deal more.
A customised design process also allows the producers to decrease their need for garment storage along with the possibility of overproduction.
With each purchase comes a detailed description of how and where the materials were collected and processed, providing transparency into the manufacturing process. Every t-shirt bought also donates €5 to the Honest Clothing Foundation to give children an education.
Jeroen van der Heide has been involved with the fashion industry previously, so he is no stranger to how things run. Thanks to Van der Heide, Karl Lagerfeld was able to get stable ground in the Netherlands and in Scandinavia in just three years. Then he repeated the same success for DKNY and ensured that Hans Ubbink expanded internationally to Belgium, Russia, France and Germany. So the experience that is needed on this journey to reduce the 30% of over production is surely there.
Tshared hopes to succeed greatly in order to encourage other companies to battle overproduction.
“I always keep looking for ways to innovate”, Van der Heide says. “It is about time to turn the clothing industry on its head”.
With a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Van der Heide wants to lay the foundations of his company. The making of the Zero Waste T-shirt aims to not only reduce the 30 percent overproduction of clothing, but to also better the working conditions for employees within the industry by giving designers and consumers more influence in the production process.
“In addition we would like to improve the working conditions for 1 million people in the clothing industry”, he says.
According to the entrepreneur, it is possible to make the clothing industry more transparent. Van der Heide has designed a business plan where the consumer and the designer will be central and at the same time contribute to a healthier environment.
With three steps he hopes to become closer to his goal of zero waste:
- Step 1: To create awareness. The unique t-shirts themselves communicate and spread Van der Heide’s zero waste message whenever they are worn. Blogs, videos and other content is created to also build awareness.
- Step 2: To be transparent. Tshared wants transparency about the supply chain, therefore you get to see exactly who each t-shirt is being produced by and how it is being made. There is an importance to a product with a story behind it.
- Step 3: To inspire. Tshared hopes to become a role model and raise awareness around doing business and contributing to the world at the same time. Their goal: to become an eco-effective brand that is proud of its footprint.
Tshared was launched to form a community of like minded people and to find new ways to contribute to the world. Tshared incorporates sustainability and giving back to the world into their legal structure, where a percentage of proceeds is used to directly impact people’s lives.
The brand knows what they want – zero wastage within the fashion community. “The power of the consumer, who is luckily getting more aware, may decide if we deserve to be successful with Tshared.eu.”
To support Jeroen van der Heide and the Tshared team, make a donation here.