Foróige's Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ran a Summer Design Challenge allowing young entrepreneurs and innovators to channel their talents. One of the winning entries came from Emma Heffernan from Youghal Co. Cork. Emma established her company Luna with a mission to find a solution to textile waste. Luna offers an alternative sustainable fashion fix within the local community.
A Sustainable solution to a Global Problem
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter of clean water after agri-business. And the textile sector is responsible for between 8% and 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equal per year. By 2050 the fashion industry could be responsible for a quarter of all carbon emissions.
Fast fashion is a term used by the fashion industry to describe how designs flow from the catwalk to shop capitalizing on current trends. The problem is they want to reduce costs and have a quick production time. This means the environment is not thought about. Cheap, toxic textile dyes used can damage the environment. As well as landfills filling up with old clothes. Over 150 billion garments are now produced each year, and 73% of all textiles end up in landfill or incineration.
Although we have seen progress in Ireland through improved recycling culture and infrastructure, we can’t recycle our way out of this problem. Products need to owned for longer and waste prevented in the first place.
An Enviroment Friendly Fashion Fix
Luna is a clothes upcycling/ revamping service born to tackle this problem. Helping people reduce their carbon footprint by buying less. Also stopping people from throwing away clothes to reduce clothes waste. "By not buying clothes constantly we are not supporting big companies who take part in fast fashion" said Emma. This service also helps to create awareness of the impact that fast fashion on our environment.
Emma Heffernan and her unique business idea Luna have addressed a growing global problem on a local level. She is helping us to better understand how our fashion choices do affect our planet.
The NFTE Summer Design Challange is part of the Foróige Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, teaching young people skills to start up their own business, develop products, learn how to market a product or service, and find funding for business development.