VISIONQUEST ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES CORP. officials (Sabine Weber & Dave Douglas) participant at World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR) 2015 at Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto, Ontario)

OCTOBER 20, 2015 - VISIONQUEST ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES CORP.  officials (Sabine Weber & Dave Douglas) participant at World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR) 2015 at Evergreen Brick Works  (Toronto, Ontario) as hosted by Fashion Takes Action – Canada’s only non profit organization devoted to sustainability in the fashion industry working with over 300 brands, designers and retailers in an effort to shift the way clothes are made and raising awareness of mainstream consumers through events, campaigns, educational programs and social media.
Leaders and professionals in the apparel industry joined for two days to share best practices and build relationships while tackling social and environmental challenges facing the fashion industry today including exploring on-shore vs off-shore production, greening operations and logistics, supply chain transparency and how to effectively communicate successful CSR stories.

VisionQuest Environmental has partnered with leading Canadian municipalities to pursue heightened consumer and residential awareness that textiles and clothing constitute a substantial portion of material that remains in the waste stream, with some municipal waste audits identifying that this material constitutes over 5% of what residents continue to place in the garbage stream.   “In order to accomplish zero waste or close too it, textiles remain the next likely low hanging fruit for municipalities to target for diversion to accomplish their long term goals.  Together, we will raise the bar and promote leading edge best management practices as North American models.” states Douglas.    

Textiles and clothing are traceable back to the brand owner and supplier as each item contains a tag identifying what company has supplied them, making it extremely easy for governmental regulators to identify product stewards and design and implement industry stewardship strategies and product levies to support enhanced stewardship strategies.  Similar strategies already exist for a multitude of consumer packaging products across Canada that offer EPR solutions and cost sharing with municipalities.  Alternatively, community based collection strategies offer a voluntary option to divert and downstream these targeted items as cost effective solutions towards sustainability.

There remains a huge opportunity to target and extract a substantial amount of textile and clothing that does not presently get diverted to established clothing charities and reuse / recycling industries, perhaps as much as 85% of that generated and consumed by residents.  These materials offer value and revenue generating opportunities in addition to substantial cost savings through avoided landfill fees through state-of-art community based collection strategies.