In recent years the fashion industry has been subject to greater scrutiny. We are now aware that the price paid for the cheap clothing we buy us both destruction of the environment and the exploitation of workers.
It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available regarding sustainable clothing. However, if you think you don’t have the time or money to make a difference then please take a few minutes to read the following suggestions:
1. Buy Less
Ask yourself before buying a new item “Do I need this and will I wear it?” Shockingly the average item of clothing in the UK is worn only 14 times.
2. Buy Pre-owned
Not only is buying second hand clothing a sustainable way to shop it also saves you money and is a recycling system that directly helps everyone in the community.
If you are attending a wedding or other special occasion think about hiring a dress or suit rather than making an expensive purchase that you may not wear again.
4. Be More Informed
Find out about the brands that you are buying and the fabrics that are used and try to avoid fabrics that use microfibres as these end up polluting the oceans.
5. Donate your Unwanted Clothes
This could be donating to your local charity shop, giving to, or swapping with, friends or donating/selling online.Many foodbanks now offer a school uniform service and they appreciate donations of school clothes which have been outgrown.
6. Look after Clothes so they Last Longer
This sounds very obvious but I write as someone who has had a couple of washing disasters caused by failure to read washing instructions. If you read the labels inside your clothes and follow the instructions, for example washing your denim inside out, then your clothes will last longer.
Again this seems very obvious but repairing damaged clothing yourself or finding a local tailor or dressmaker who can do so will extend the life of your clothes.
The message is simple:
Buy less, choose well and make it last!
I would like to challenge those of you reading this to post a picture of an item of clothing which you have chosen carefully and which you have loved to wear on many different occasions.
I’m going to start you off with a favourite dress which I purchased circa 2009 and which has been worn approximately 100 times so far.