Eco Fashion Week tackles industry pollution

Designers are trying to make clothes more environmentally friendly.

Fashion starts long before the runway, and according to those gathered inside the Impact Hub for Eco Fashion Week, the fashion industry is the second worst polluter next to oil.

"Water, energy, chemicals. Waste in water, but also in fabric," said Myriam Laroche, an ecostylist.

Laroche created Eco Fashion Week to make apparel more environmentally conscious. Every year, leaders in sustainable fashion gather to talk about how fashion can also steward natural resources.

"We want to make it easy for the industry to do that. Right now the industry is stuck in that fast pace of selling and creating and paying what it costs," she said.

One of many challenges is keeping enviro-friendly clothes from spiking in cost.

"Because consumers just won't buy it," said Karim Lessard, who works with Seattle-based EVRNU.

EVRNU takes thrift store clothing, turns it into pulp, and then thread that's woven into a new item like Levis jeans.

Normally, a pair of jeans can require a couple thousand gallons of water just to grow the cotton.

Other groups like Nube 9 are making athletic-wear out of recycled plastic bottles.

"Cotton crops are stressed. We are nearing our capacity. It quickly becomes a global economic issue that hits us at home," Lessard said.

About 80 billion clothing items were sold globally last year, and most will end up in a landfill.

Copyright 2016 KING


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