Branded New: Previously loved, given new life

Branded New: Previously loved, given new life

Cotton is the most common material used to make the clothing we wear. It requires as much as 2700L  of water to produce enough cotton to make one shirt. As a whole, the entire textile industry uses over 1.5 trillion liters of water each year. Once the garment is produced, a significant amount of water is then used in the dying process. The entire world uses almost 1 trillion gallons of water each year just to dye fabric. 

It takes over 2500 gallons of water to produce just 1 lb of cotton.

Clothing manufacturing also accounts for a significant portion of water pollution, almost 20% of the world’s total. 90% of wastewater from textile manufacturing is released into waterways without treatment while almost 800 million people do not have access to clean drinking water.

More than 5% of the material in our landfills is textile fabric, which is no surprise considering that the average lifespan of a garment is only 3 years. Not to mention the 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the textile industry annually. These figures are projected only to increase as buying cheaply made and mass produced clothing continues to be the norm. 

Wastewater attributed to textile production contains lead, mercury, and arsenic.

What can we do about this? 

Our goal at Populace has always been to have a positive impact on our community, our employees, and the environment, so we knew we had to think about merchandising in a way that was consistent with that mission. 

With our Branded New program, we carefully source second-hand, previously loved clothing items and give them new life with our signature “Drink Coffee Live Forever” embroidery. This program saves these garments from being prematurely discarded and conserves the 2700L of water that would typically be required to manufacture a t-shirt.

Only 15% of clothing ends up being recycled or donated.

While our merchandise may only account for a small portion of the world’s total textile production, it can still have a significant impact. Every 100 Branded New shirts saves 270,000 gallons of water from being utilized for textile manufacturing. That’s enough for almost 400 people for one year.

We felt it was our duty to share our mission and get more people thinking about how their clothing is made and the impact it has on the environment and the inhabitants of the countries where it was produced. Branded New: Previously loved, given new life. 

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