Composting our clothing? It sounds farfetched doesn’t it? You will probably be just as surprised as me to know that a company in Sweden has accomplished this.
Not only that but the company, named Freitag, began its sustainable journey by creating durable bags from tarps on semi-trucks. They did what they call “re-contextualizing,” which was giving raw materials a new life. Furthermore, they created an entirely new fabric that is 100% compostable. Where did the idea come from? It came from the founders of Freitag when they realized that they wanted their employees to have durable sustainable clothes to wear to work.
The fabric that they created is called F-ABRIC and it is made of the fibers hemp, flax, and modal. These are natural fibers that are grown in Europe and do not require as much water as cotton would. The journey that these fibers take to production are a shorter distance than if they used cotton for their material because these fibers are from European soil. Even the thread they use is compostable. The F-ABRIC products can be thrown into your own compost and will biodegrade completely in about two months. One may be worried that since it will biodegrade it might break down as you wear it, however, the clothing is made with very high quality and great durability. It will hold up until you are ready to compost it.
Freitag tried to come up with a way to compost buttons, but were unable to. Although they failed on the compostable buttons, they did create buttons that can be screwed on and off so they can then be reused on future items. They are currently waiting on their patent to be approved for the removable buttons.
Why can’t big department stores make this move? Why can’t companies be held accountable for turning towards new fabric making processes that are more sustainable? The founders of F-ABRIC were successful and they are just a small company. Imagine if a big department store put even a portion of their advertising budget into transforming their practices. All we need is for one large department store to make the move, and then the trend will begin. Freitag has created a product that uses locally sourced raw materials that use considerably less water and fewer pesticides than traditional materials, such as cotton. These are all different aspects that would lower the costs for transportation, water depletion in rural poor areas, and less harm to the environment.