ASEZ Members in Louisville, KT, U.S. Carried out: “Make DIY T-Shirt Tote Bags”

About 100 billion clothes are produced every year, and 33 billion clothes are thrown away.
Fashion industry is causing serious environmental pollution. Water and air pollution occur not only in producing clothes but also in disposing them. It emits more greenhouse gases than aviation and shipping worldwide. Fashion industries use 20% of the water used in the industry as a whole.

This is due to overproduction and overconsumption. People produce more than what will be sold, and they buy more than what they will actually wear. Eventually, we need a place to dispose the purchased clothes, and second-hand trade is becoming its solution. However, we need to re-examine clothing recycling. Many people feel easy, thinking that old clothes will be used or recycled for charitable causes, but in fact, 40% of old clothes that enter the second-hand market end up in a trash. About 5% of clothing bins are distributed inside the country through vintage clothing stores, etc., but 95% are exported to developing countries through exporters. However, those clothes become waste that exceeds the limit of the waste treatment system of the region where it is imported. For example, Ghana has a population of about 30 million but imports 15 million pieces of old clothes every week.

It is time to change our perception and behavior in production, consumption, and recycling.

For this, on February 26, 2020, “Make DIY Tote Bags” was conducted at the University of Louisville.

This event is to make tote bags by recycling t-shirts we don’t use, and about thirty people attended it.
Starting with the introduction of ASEZ, the event proceeded with explaining the importance of recycling and demonstrating how to make a tote bag.

An ASEZ official who hosted the event said, “About 95% of the waste we dump is a valuable resource that can be recycled or reused. This event will serve as an opportunity to think about responsible consumption and production. This is also in line with SDGs goal No. 12: “Responsible consumption and production.”

ASEZ member Joshua Walraven commented, “Making tote bags with all the student volunteers was very encouraging. Even through simple activities, such as making a reusable bag to reduce plastic use, it is good to know that others have the same mind to make a difference toward our environment.”

Shemari McKoy said, “During this DIY Tote bag making event, I was truly inspired to make a more conscious effort to reduce using plastic bags. The event helped me realize that even my small efforts can go a long way towards earth’s sustainability. I really had a great time and would definitely want to come back for the next event.”

We hope that each small action for environment will form a correct environmental culture that can change the world.