Rapidly changing fashion trends contribute to a constant increase in demand, production, and waste. Upcycling offers a solution by reusing discarded products or material in such a way as to create a new product of higher quality or value than the original.


What Is the Impact of Fast-Fashion?

The constant pursuit of the latest fashion has given rise to the fast-fashion trend—a culture where consumers frequently purchase inexpensive clothing, wearing it briefly before discarding it. The frequency of garment use has decreased by approximately 36% in the last 15 years, leading to a 'disposable' clothing culture. This throwaway mentality is exacerbated by companies swiftly adopting trends through online data collection, producing and selling clothing at an unprecedented pace.
Moreover, consumers, on average, utilize only 20% of the clothes in their closets. Annually 92 million tonnes of garments end up in landfills out of the 80-100 billion garments produced. If this trend persists, fast fashion waste is projected to reach 134 million tonnes annually by the end of the decade. Additionally, the fashion industry contributes to 20% of global wastewater, requiring for example 20,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of cotton.


What Is the Impact of Synthetic Materials in Fashion?

The fashion industry's dependence on plastic is evident, with 342 million barrels of petroleum used annually to produce plastic-based fibres like polyester, nylon, or acrylic. This constitutes 1.35% of the world's oil consumption. Plastic, being non-biodegradable, poses environmental challenges, with textile waste disposal methods releasing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for nearly 10% of global carbon emissions. The apparel industry's global emissions are projected to increase by 50% by 2030. Non-decomposed plastic nanoparticles are already pervasive, found in the soil, the air, vegetables, and even within our bodies.


Infographics describing the impact of Fast-Fashion

Infographic describing the impact of Fast-Fashion


What Really Happens to Unwanted Fashion?

When we clean out our closets, we often make piles for clothing: ‘keep’, ‘donate’, and ‘throw away’ (or landfill). Despite our efforts, only 20% of the textiles produced annually are reused. Consumers assume that – through the campaigns promoting collection and donation of used clothing in special containers – they are either reused or recycled. But the majority ends up in landfills, as those campaigns sometimes lead to large waste mountains in other countries, such as Ghana and the Atacama Desert, where only a minority of the donations gets processed.


Can Bags Be Victim of Fast-Fashion?

Bags, like any other fashion item or accessory, can be victims of the fast-fashion phenomenon, adding to the industry's detrimental impact on the environment. In contrast to fast fashion, which frequently aligns with short-lived trends and utilizes low-quality materials, opting for a sturdy bag with a timeless design ensures that you possess an accessory that will endure for years to come.


Unsorted piles of seatbelts discarded from the factory.

Unsorted piles of seatbelts discarded from the factory.


What Is eKodoKi’s Take and Challenge?

In response to the global ecological fashion crisis, eKodoKi advocates for a shift from fashion awareness to eco awareness. Choosing more timeless, sustainable, second-hand, recycled, or upcycled options is crucial. As a brand, eKodoKi focuses on creating functional and fashionable bags using upcycled materials, particularly factory-rejected seatbelts. Viewing waste as a valuable and reusable material, eKodoKi presenting a unique challenge: redesign seatbelt into premium quality products.


What Happens to Seatbelts If They Don't Get Upcycled?

Seatbelts, made of petroleum-based plastic, have a significant environmental impact when discarded in landfills. While they can be recycled, not all factories have the capability, making disposal the cheaper option. Remarkably, seatbelts take 200-400 years to break down in landfills.


Upcycling discarded seatbelts into an eKodoKi RE-BELT briefcase

Upcycling discarded seatbelts into an eKodoKi RE-BELT briefcase


Why Are Seatbelts a Perfect Material to Upcycle into Bags & Accessories?

eKodoKi recognizes the exceptional qualities of seatbelt materials, including strength, durability, texture, shine, and water resistance. Through the exploration of these properties, eKodoKi creates beautiful, functional bags & accessories that contribute to sustainable fashion practices, ensuring longevity in both style and use.

Upcycling is the new luxury!