We love fashion! Of course, we do. Always have, always will. Isn’t fashion meant to be fun? We think so. The problem is we now know that there are environmental problems involved in buying and even laundering our clothes.
Here are just a few sobering facts:
- In the UK almost 75% of unwanted clothes end up in landfill or are burned, which is no better.
- Across the world it is estimated that a container load of garments are thrown away every second.
- Recycling unwanted clothes into other products is currently technologically difficult.
- The clothing industry is responsible for creating more carbon emissions than the aviation industry.
- Although the UK has banned the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics such as exfoliants, plastic micro fibres shed from our polyester and acrylic clothing are much more contaminating to rivers and oceans and damaging to wildlife.
- Cotton, although a natural fibre, does not necessarily have greener credentials. A cotton crop uses vast quantities of water and polluting pesticides.
- Most clothing items are manufactured a long way from where they are ultimately purchased by the consumer.
If you have been using the lockdown to clear out your wardrobes and drawers and you feel motivated to take a deeper dive into this subject here are a few of our reading suggestions:
How to Break Up With Fast Fashion By Lauren Bravo
Fashionopolis –The Price Of Fast Fashion and The Future Of Clothes By Dana Thomas
Why Fashion Matters By Frances Corner
Project 333. The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less Really is so Much More By Courtney Carver
Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion By Clare Press
If you are inspired to make some small changes, here are some suggestions for how we as consumers can help fashion a different future.
- Wear things for longer before washing. Before we had automatic washing machines we didn’t wash after every wear and we don’t really need to now.
- Consider where garments are manufactured and think about buying things made closer to home, thereby cutting down freight pollution.
- Avoid purchasing acrylic jumpers. They leach more plastic micro fibres into the wash than anything else and do not biodegrade.
- Buy and use fine mesh laundry bags which help to collect plastic microfibres before they escape into the waterways.
- Give unwanted items to friends, family and charities rather than throwing them away.
- Buy cotton mindfully and look after it so it lasts for as long as possible.
- Fall in love with British Wool.
- Buy well-made items that will last longer.
- Consider seeking out alternative fibres such as hemp and bamboo.
- For the perfect white t-shirt have a look at The White Tshirt Company