The fashion industry contributes a lot of waste byproducts to the environment. This trend continues to increase with the high consumptive nature of humans regarding clothing. The carbon trail and byproduct of clothing can usually be found at landfills. The public needs to be more aware of this issue, and their help is needed to restore the condition of the environment.
Activist of Earth Hour Yogyakarta, Maulida Rita Widyana stated that the increase in garment waste byproduct is affected by the increasing public demand for clothing. The increasing demands affect the amount of byproduct that pollutes the environment.
“We cannot directly blame the factories for the waste. The waste production rate of the factory is also affected by its consumers. The more clothes we buy, the more byproduct is produced,” She stated during the Garment Waste Workshop hosted by Fismo Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) on Thursday (24/10) at the fifth floor of the UMY Central Campus’ E7 Building.
In addition to the consumptive nature of the public regarding clothes, Indonesia’s part as a textile-exporting country is also a cause for the increase in byproducts. Many distinguished clothing labels in the world build factories in developing countries due to the low production cost.
“Indonesia is one of the highest garment exporters in the world. Sometimes, factories in Indonesia does not have a good waste management system. One factory in Jakarta dumps its waste straight to the sea, which has horrible effects to the sea life,” Maulida added.
Meanwhile, Diah Andeswon of DHI Project explained that as a businesswoman in the clothing business, it is sad to see the high amounts of garment wasted. To that end, Diah thinks that business owners need to be more aware of environmental issues and help fix them.
“The increase in garment waste is affected by changes in fashion. However, many designers have become more aware of their negative impacts. Therefore, we try as best we can to reuse garments according to function and needs, because not all waste can be recycled,” She added.
Maulida and Diah invited the public to do their best in managing their garment waste. Maulida asked the public to reduce excessive clothing purchases, combining old clothing with accessories, and recycling old clothing to new items.
Meanwhile, Diah suggested donating or selling your old clothes, and if possible, buying used garments. She also implored the local or national government to accommodate efforts to manage garment waste. In addition, environmental awareness needs to be higher.
At the event, the participants of the workshop were taught how to manage garment waste to create accessories and items. (ak)