Science and Tech


Would You Wear The Same Jacket For 30 Years For The Environment?

The environmental costs to make clothes are high, and they're filling up our landfills. But this sustainable-fashion guru thinks he has a solution.
Posted at 12:48 PM, Apr 22, 2016

"The way we're consuming things has got to change," fashion designer Tom Cridland said.

The clothing industry takes a major toll on the environment.

From the nearly 13 million tons of textiles Americans discarded in 2013.

To the more than 710 gallons of water needed to make just one T-shirt.

And with the world's cotton supply dwindling, polyester is becoming the go-to fabric. Polyester and nylon are made from petroleum, which means that process further increases the world's carbon footprint. 

"Actually, what we're getting people to do is to consider how they're consuming fashion," Cridland said. 

Designer Tom Cridland's brand is a part of a growing trend: sustainable fashion.

"In terms of cost per wear what we're offering is cheaper than going to H&M or Zara," Cridland said.

His brand recently launched the 30-year jacket — a project aimed at getting customers to hang on to their clothes for decades rather than throwing them out after a few months. 

"People who don't care about sustainable fashion, about others, will care that their item of clothing lasts 30 years," Cridland said.

This video includes clips from BullFrog Films / 'The True Cost,' NPRlululemon athleticaH&M and Nike and images from Tom Cridland and music from MADS / CC BY 3.0.