The average American wastes about one pound of food per day (!!!). On a global scale, roughly 1.3 billions tons of food are discarded each year! In the United States, the amount of food waste generated tends to soar a whopping five extra tons during — you guessed it! — the holiday season.
Tomorrow, many of you will sit down to an abundant Thanksgiving feast. As you top your plate off with heaping mounds of Tofurkey, stuffing, and your grandmother’s scrumptious green bean casserole — not to mention a few slices of vegan pumpkin pie! — keep in mind your eyes might be larger than your stomach and some of what you put on your plate may wind up in the trash bin.
As the piles of waste add up this holiday season, industries like textile manufacturing companies will add to the ever-growing mounds of trash piling up in landfills across the globe. Thankfully, many within the fashion industry are working to nix their position on the “wasteful” spectrum. Their solution: turn food waste into fashion — eliminating *both* textile waste and food waste simultaneously.
3 “Food Fashion” Brands To Add To Your Holiday Shopping List, STAT
milo+nicki → banana stalks
Cruelty-free, sustainable, and ethically designed womenswear line milo+nicki was created with a mission of empowering women. All of the line’s fabrics are handwoven in India using fair trade measures and are made to last — no wasteful, fast fashion here!
Founded in 2014 by Nicki Patel (and her beloved pup Milo!), milo+nicki’s Bandhani Collection is made using banana fiber, which is the leftover remnants of banana plant stalks that have been harvested for food. The small-batch capsule collection’s fibers are biodegradable, hand-dyed using plant-based indigo and madder root, and are also entirely vegan!
The packaging is also up to par with the line’s sustainable practices! milo+nicki only uses 100% recycled and biodegradable clothing tags, hang tags, and shipping mailers.
MANIWALA → pineapple leaves
One of the first U.S. manufacturers to use Piñatex fibers — a by-product of a pineapple harvest that’s durability and texture make it a natural leather alternative — MANIWALA is a vegan brand that creates bags and accessories that are locally sourced and ethically made in California.
With a commitment to ecological and social transparency, MANIWALA’s products are entirely plastic free (this includes their packaging, which is made from recycled paper!) and the company makes it a point to save all of their fabric waste to be repurposed into smaller items.
MANIWALA, which also uses pesticide-free hemp fiber in many of their products, is dedicated to eliminating wasteful fast fashion and creates its products to last. Items that do need TLC down the line can be repaired (for a small fee), and all of the line’s products are backed by a lifetime guarantee!
nat-2™ → coffee grounds
German high end sneaker brand nat-2™ recently launched a line of vegan shoes made from repurposed coffee grounds! Sporting a slight coffee scent, the collection, aptly dubbed the “Coffee Line”, features high- and low-top unisex sneakers that, in addition to recycled coffee, are made using recycled plastic bottles, anti-bacterial cork insole, water-based glue that’s free of animal ingredients, reflective glass details, and natural rubber outsoles.
The eco-friendly luxurious footwear brand, which launched in 2007, is known for using innovative materials like wood and stone, and uses other food waste products as well like corn, pineapple fibers, and beans to create their eco-shoes. The brand’s extensive shoe collection include the Fungi Line, the Stone Line, and the Wooden Line — just to name a few! Just keep in mind, not all of nat-2™’s products are vegan as some are made using refurbished leather and recycled milk!
Which one of these food waste fashion labels are you excited for?
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Photo: Respective Brands