Fashion and Clothing
This is a sponsored article from SustainabilityTracker.com member Reluv.
The footprint of the fashion industry is significant and there is a growing awareness about the social and environmental impacts of fashion on our planet and our people. Clothing consumption has risen dramatically yet approximately 40% of our wardrobe is unworn. And only 15% of our clothing is recycled or donated at end of life. The good news is that you can have a positive impact! Here’s some of the ways you can reduce your fashion footprint. And remember – you don’t have to be perfect; every little bit helps!
The most sustainable item of clothing is the one already in your wardrobe. There are so many clothes being produced but the most environmentally friendly thing you can do is wear what you already have. You may even have clothes hanging in your wardrobe that you have never worn!
The average garment is only worn 7 times, then goes into landfill. The more you wear your clothing, the more emissions you save!
Broken zip? button fallen off? – don’t despair. Mending is a great way to hold on to your favourite items and wear your clothes for longer. You don’t need to be a seamstress to be able to mend. Youtube has some fabulous resources to learn simple mending techniques!
The production of a cotton T-shirt generates almost 7kgs of carbon emissions and the production of a pair of jeans is approximately 20 kgs of carbon. Buying second-hand clothing means you’ll be eliminating the carbon emissions associated with producing new clothes, not to mention the water consumption and natural resources required. Op shops, marketplaces and online secondhand clothing stores like Reluv are great places to source beautiful preloved clothes.
Swapping your clothes with friends and family is a great way to extend the life of the clothing you have purchased and it’s an affordable way to refresh your own wardrobe with new-to-you clothing. Clothes-swapping events are also a fun day out and are a great opportunity to add some unique items to your closet. @Clothesswapstyle holds clothes swaps throughout the year, and also provides tips on how to host your own clothes swap with friends!
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a unique outfit for a special event! But outfits for special events usually land up in the back of the wardrobe never being used more than once. Next time you have an event coming up, consider renting instead of buying.
When you are buying new (hello underwear and socks!) shopping from sustainable brands can save carbon emissions and support a circular fashion industry. But beware of “green-washing” – where brands say they’re being sustainable, but really aren’t. Look for detailed information and not just broad statements!
Good On You is a great place to learn about the best sustainable clothing options and which clothing brands to avoid.
Washing your clothes with only cold water and air drying them will not only make your clothes last longer but will also save carbon emissions from the energy required to power your washer and dryer. According to a life cycle analysis of laundry, the water temperature we select has the biggest impact on the energy used in the wash cycle. And washing clothes on shorter, cooler cycles reduced microfiber shedding by up to 30 percent which reduces our impact on ecosystems and marine life. Wearing your clothes more than once before washing them will save significant amounts of water and energy as you reduce the number of wash loads per week.
Buying fewer garments and purchasing clothes that are better quality and more durable has a significant impact on both microfiber shedding and greenhouse gas emissions. And according to the Waste & Resource Action Program (WRAP), extending the life of our clothing by just nine months equates to an average 20-30 percent reduction in waste, water, and carbon footprints.
So don’t wait – start taking steps to reduce your fashion footprint today!
This is an article from a SustainabilityTracker.com Member. The views and opinions we express here don’t necessarily reflect our organisation.