EARTH DAY 2021 - OPEN LETTER


Less Waste Less Harm

 

Dear Interiors Industry,

I’m Jules Haines, founder of the Haines Collection - a resale platform on a mission to reduce waste in the interiors industry.

This Earth Day I want to shine a light on textile waste. The UK Homeware market is valued at £13.8 billion in the UK which highlights the scale of consumption we are dealing with as an industry. Soft furnishings produce a dangerously high volume of waste that is not being addressed. The consequence of this is devastating for our planet. According to a situation report by WRAP in 2019,  approximately 900,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up in landfill (or is incinerated) every year. Homeware textiles account for 42% of it.

There is very little research about textile waste directly from the interiors industry, unlike the fashion industry which is reported on and called to account regularly. Stella McCartney famously quoted in her open letter to the fashion industry that  “every single second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is sent to landfill or burnt” (Ellen Macarthur Foundation). This means that nearly half of each truckload is homeware textiles. 

Having worked in the interiors industry for ten years now, I have seen the huge amounts of waste first hand and I’m sure you have too. I have heard alarming reports of designers instructing their textile printers to burn print seconds. I have had conversations with large manufacturers who hire skips to throw away unwanted textiles under 3 metres long. 

Sustainable methods are becoming more prevalent, and many designers are increasingly choosing eco-friendly resources and production methods. This is extremely encouraging. However, too few are addressing their unwanted remnants and deadstock. Over 70% of textiles consumed annually are not collected for reuse or recycling (WRAP Report). As our industry grows, so does its waste. 

Fashion houses were called out for burning their handbags and clothes in 2018, in 2021 the interiors industry needs to be called out for burning their leftover stock or sending it to landfill. We need to look at how the fashion industry has changed its ways and do the same. 

As an industry, we need to commit to circularity. By coming together and sharing our ideas and resources we can change. We have to change. I call on the industry to have a positive impact on the planet by being responsible, accountable and innovative so we can plan for tomorrow.  

We are using the earth’s resources faster than nature can replenish them. We need to act now. Less waste means less harm.

Regards

Jules Haines

Founder and Director of Haines Collection


 


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