Outside/In Podcast Explores New Approaches to Eliminating Textile Waste

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Outside/In—a podcast about the natural world and how we use it—dedicated its most recent episode, “Pants on Fire,” to textile waste and innovative solutions to it. The Conscious Closet author Elizabeth L. Cline was invited on the show to discuss her research on fast fashion.

“Textiles are all around us. We live in them, sleep on them, sit on them, walk on them, live in houses filled with them. It’s one of the biggest industries in the world. But it’s also one with a big problem and, at least for consumers in the United States, a largely invisible one - textile waste. Today, we’re tearing the very shirt off your back to explore the old is new approach to textiles that could eliminate millions of tons of garbage a year.

When you’re a home sewer, you have the time to be economical about how you place and cut pattern pieces. But even so, you still end up with a lot of scraps. Zero waste design aims to make clothes that produce little to no waste. There’s no one way to do it. Some people like Timo Risannen try to design clothing that use a whole piece of fabric. If you’re used to making clothes from standard sewing patterns, these zero waste patterns can be a challenge to decipher.”