Suits for Success is not only helping people, we’re also helping the planet. By extending the life of garments through direct reuse instead of purchasing new ones, we are creating an important environmental benefit.
According to the United Nations Alliance for Sustainability, the fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water and is responsible for up to 8 percent of global carbon emissions (from pumping water for crop irrigation, oil-based pesticides, machinery for harvesting, transportation, etc.). The fashion industry is responsible for 24 percent of insecticide use and 11 percent of pesticide use.
Consumer clothing tastes and the availability of cheap clothing have led to problems, as well. A phenomenon known as “fast fashion” has emerged. Fast fashion is a clothing supply chain model that is intended to respond quickly to the latest fashion trends by frequently updating the clothing available in stores, says an article in Journal of Cleaner Production. The average consumer buys 60 percent more pieces of clothing than 15 years ago, but each item is only kept for half as long.
The United States alone generated 16.89 million tons of textile waste in 2017, of which 66 percent was dumped in a landfill, according to a dissertation published at Kansas State University. Between 2000 and 2017, the amount of U.S. textile waste has nearly doubled. Furthermore, the average American throws away about 82 pounds of textiles each year.
“Gobally, one garbage truck of clothing is landfilled or incinerated every second.” -A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Fibres Initiative
The direct reuse of garments by non-profits like Suits, online thrift stores, and others helps reduce these shocking environmental impacts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists reuse as the most preferred waste reduction strategy, as it has the ability to reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions. A Life Cycle Assessment conducted on two types of garments, a cotton T-shirt and a pair of polyester/cotton trousers, showed large reductions in environmental impacts. The assessment, published in The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment showed a 14 percent decrease of global warming emissions for the cotton T-shirt and a 45% reduction of human toxicity for the polyester/cotton trousers. These numbers include the collection, laundering, and transportation of these second-hand clothes!
And sustainable fashion is catching on. Americans are not only accepting clothing reuse, but are now clamoring for it. According to ThredUP, the world’s largest fashion resale marketplace, secondhand clothing is now a $24 billion industry, projected to double in 5 years. They write, “twenty percent of all consumers bought used apparel last year across every income and age, with Millennials and Gen Z leading the charge.”
We’re thrilled to be doing our part to build a more sustainable future.
Give Today – Help Us Change The Future For a Parolee
Your gifts help us cover our most basic operating costs like fuel for clothing delivery to prisons. 100% of your donation goes to the mission, no Volunteers or Board Members receive compensation. Suits for Success is a registered 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization
Suits for Success
A 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization
P.O. Box 5684
Woodridge, IL 60517
Our ambitious goal is to provide clothing appropriate for a job search.
The gift of a dress shirt, pants, nearly new casual shirt for men, or an outfit for women, can help create a better first impression in that first interview or first return home.