Target social issue:
The production of t-shirts has a considerable environmental impact, contributing to various environmental problems, such as excessive water usage, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. The textile industry generates 2 billion t-shirts per year, consuming 6kg of CO2 and 2700L of water pet t-shirts. We estimate in Canada, over 150 million t-shirts each year are sold. From cotton cultivation to clothing manufacturing, every stage of the production process has the potential to cause significant harm to the planet. Additionally, many workers in the industry face unsafe conditions, exposure to toxic chemicals, and receive low wages, with their rights often neglected. Furthermore, factories operating in these countries are often located close to residential areas, polluting local water sources and exposing nearby communities to the same health risks as the workers. This overconsumption and the subsequent waste generated contribute to the depletion of natural resources, affecting ecosystems and wildlife, and exacerbating climate change. Fast fashion practices encourage a disposable mindset, where clothing items are discarded quickly, straining the environment and perpetuating a vicious cycle of waste and pollution.
Social solution idea :
T-Cycle is a socially driven initiative focused on minimizing the environmental impact of clothing waste, particularly T-shirts, while promoting sustainability and community engagement. The project repurposes unused or damaged T-shirts by adding a sewn logo and reselling them on an online platform or transforming them into eco-friendly bags. For each sale, a portion of the proceeds supports tree planting organizations, while unsold items benefit local associations aiding those in need. T-Cycle also simplifies the selling process for individuals who use online platforms like Vinted or Facebook Marketplace. Instead of handling photos, negotiations, and individual deliveries for each item, which increases CO2 emissions, sellers can send all their unused clothing in a single package to T-Cycle, which takes care of the logistics behind the process. Key activities include T-shirt collection, processing and resale. As the project expands, it aims to franchise in other cities or other countries, include other clothing types, collaborate with fashion designers or artists for upcycled lines, and involve young people in fostering environmental stewardship. Through community involvement and a commitment to sustainability, T-Cycle strives to create a lasting, positive impact on the environment and the lives of the people it serves.
Video presentation: https://youtu.be/o_8xGImpkkI