Designing Out Landfill; some notes and stats.

Thanks to Jo Angell at Puff and Flock for writing up some notes of the Designing Out Landfill Conference that took place on June 15th.  

It seems some highlights of the morning presentations included some interesting statistics.

Sophie Thomas, co-founder of Greengaged

  • UK households produce over 25 million tonnes of waste every year.
  • UK currently has 106 sq miles of landfill
  • One pair of shoes takes 8,000 litres of water to make
  • 1 computer requires 1.83 tons of raw materials to make


Kresse Wesling, founder of E&KO

Presented two case studies where 50% donated back to the material source.

  • bags from used fire hose pipes (West End belt worn my Cameron Diaz in June Vogue, p.95)
  • bags for Sainsbury’s from coffee sacks used to deliver the raw coffee

Nick Morley, Oakdene Hollins

  • 1 gallon of oil to make 1 kilo of polyester
  • ‘comingled collection’ bad for textile recycling through cross contamination
  • ‘diversion’ schemes good: Morley gave a shout out to Vancouver’s own Mountain Equipment Co-Op for encouraging their customer to sell and trade their used MEC products with other customers online.


Casper Gray, Director of Wax, Sustainable design and research

Suggested possible causes for the death (end of life) of textiles:

  • Fashion
  • Boredom/change
  • Bad fit
  • Wear
  • Damage
  • Loss

Other Causes:

  • Off cuts and errors (during manufacturing)
  • fabric samples

According to Angell, Gray “implied that designers could have a stronger role in improving these aspects.”

Click here, for the full write up at Puff and Flock, a London based textile collective, that it’s a great resource for critical textile design thinking.

Source: Puff and Flock

Mary has a PhD in Sociology from University of Edinburgh, researching responsible fashion and transnational labour rights activism in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

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