7a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.

If you were to go into a clothing factory and have a look around, you’d see the huge amount of wastage that occurs during the manufacture. There’s tonnes of the stuff – cotton off-cuts and scraps all over the factory floor that is all binned and sent to a landfill site. Good cotton going to waste for no reason.

The irony is that most of the companies who are throwing their old cotton away actually have to use harsh chemicals and processes to achieve that look. All we do is sweep up and use what they throw away. One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Alex Murphy, howies

One man's junk is another man's treasure

howies, a small active clothing company based in Cardigan Bay, Wales wondered what could be done with waste cotton scraps at their suppliers. They figured they should try to make something new with it. They worked with the factory to fix this and now take all the cotton waste from other brands and recycle it.

The scraps are mulched into something that resembles cotton wool, ready for re-spinning into a new recycled cotton yarn, which can be made into new garments. Because it’s a mix of all different grades of cotton, it gives the recycled cotton pieces an irregular and washed out look and a really cosy soft hand feel.

7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.