About our Clothing & Textile Coalition
The Clothing & Textile Coalition of All Together Now PA is comprised of local designers, manufacturers, fashion and textile educators and researchers, slow fashion advocates, and circular economy-minded people in the fashion community of Philadelphia and eventually statewide.
Our goals are:
- Create a circular textile system within Pennsylvania to use the materials that are already available to us.
- Work with local farmers and processors to create “dirt to shirt” supply chains.
- Work with partner organizations to promote local clothing design and manufacturing to shift consumer dollars to local producers.
- Educate about the unethical practices within the "Fast Fashion" industry, and the benefits to the environment and workers in the "Slow Fashion" movement.
- Over time, increase local self-reliance in clothing and textiles in our state while reducing waste.
In creating a circular textile system, our regions must take responsibility for textile waste on a local level and work together to find use for discards in filling local needs. Our coalition will work closely with local governments to address this issue on a larger scale and create alternative textile recycling solutions that create jobs and benefit the local economy as well as work towards addressing the issue of overproduction and other initial causes of the problem.
Our coalition works to create ethical and sustainable supply chains for local designers and provide them with circular thinking education. We also educate the public on the harm done by “fast fashion” and the importance of supporting our local “slow fashion” clothing and textile economy. Slow fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.
Fast Fashion – cheap, trendy, mass-produced - is a threat to our environment. The fashion industry makes up 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide, and is responsible for 20% of industrial water pollution worldwide. Textile dyeing is the world’s second-largest polluter of water. Washing clothes releases 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year — the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
85% of clothing ends up in the landfill producing harmful gases and toxins into our air and waterways. The Fast Fashion trend is growing. According to Business Insider, people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than in 2000, yet they only kept the clothes for half as long.
Textile waste can come from many sources including post-consumer waste, sample production during the design process, the cutting room during the manufacturing process, excess fabric, and unsold clothing. Currently when people donate clothing a very small portion of it actually gets recycled (about 1%) and often the majority ends up in a secondhand market overseas, which is detrimental to local textile markets in developing countries.
What We Do
NEW: Textile Recycling Task Force
Our Textile Recycling Task Force is dedicated to changing the way the city of Philadelphia handles its clothing and textile waste. Our mission is to identify the main contributors of the city’s textile waste, find ways to rehome any usable material and create a responsible, sustainable and equitable system where the unusable scraps can be sorted and recycled simultaneously creating jobs in our community.
What citizens can do to support Clothing & Textiles
How dirty is your closet? The fashion industry produces more harmful carbon emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined. Does your closet contribute to climate change? Find out with thredUP’s fashion footprint calculator.
Want to get involved in the Clothing & Textile Coalition?