Green Initiatives has just launched RE:FORM—an all-encompassing new program designed to educate consumers on the impact of today’s clothing consumption habits and how the public can help tackle it.
Launched in partnership with Community Center Shanghai and Crown Relocations, RE:FORM will serve as a platform for tackling textile waste across different points in the value chain through information sharing, launch of creative campaigns to encourage individual action, engage with corporations and schools to educate their staff and students, as well as provide a transparent, easy, and reliable way to reuse and recycle clothing purchases.
RE:FORM was officially launched at Green Initiatives’ 71st film screening, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, on Thursday, February 16th 2017
The textile waste problem
China produces more than 26 million tons of textile waste every year (about 70,000 tons each day!), reportedly a 400 per cent increase from 20 years ago. Greenpeace reports that three quarters end up in landfills after only a few uses, when in fact, 99 per cent of discarded items could be recycled.
The production and disposal of textiles present a growing threat to the environment. For example, cotton accounts for more than half of all clothing produced worldwide, and accounts for 24 per cent and 11 per cent of the global insecticide and pesticide sales respectively [link]. When disposed, clothes release chemical dyes that contaminate soil while incineration contributes to air pollution. It also puts tremendous pressure on landfills.
What is RE:FORM?
RE:FORM raises awareness on the environmental and social impact of clothing consumption. Public events, community campaigns, customized awareness workshops and other activities will be conducted to grow the conversation on eco-responsible textiles and encourage behavioral change.
Further, through partnerships with companies, schools, and retailers, RE:FORM collection boxes will be placed at various locations across the city for community members to conveniently drop off used clothing, thus ensuring that the collected items are used to their maximum potential.
“Most people know that the use-and-throw culture is not sustainable but few people are taking the time to help solve it,” says Nitin Dani, Founder and Director, Green Initiatives. “That’s the main mission for RE:FORM—to change attitudes through information and inspiration, and to promote action by providing a convenient way for organizations and individuals to contribute to the solution.”
RE:FORM partners’ roles
Large and small companies, schools, industry bodies, and community service organizations can all play a big part in the eco-responsible textile movement in various ways.
This ranges from implementing RE:FORM as a CSR program in their institutions as well as lending their expertise, time and resources to support the program.
RE:FORM also offers volunteering opportunities for employees and students through its action campaigns, clothing collection drives and clothing sorting activities.
For example, RE:FORM partner Community Center Shanghai that has been running the River of Hearts project since 2003, supports the program through sorting and sending used clothing items to disadvantaged communities in various parts of China.
Another key partner, Crown Relocations provides logistics support throughout the project while Bonobo Jeans and Shanghai YK Pao School Primary Campus, the first participants in the program, have already placed RE:FORM boxes in their locations.
RE:FORM officially kicked off at Green Initiatives’ 71st film screening and panel for Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. The event took place on Thursday, February 16th 2017 at Haworth Furniture, Shanghai.
For more details about the launch event, including itinerary, speakers/panellists, and registration, visit this link.