19. Jul, 2017

Clothing waste

So every time you say you need a clear out, ''I've got too many bags, too many shoes, tops I’ve never worn .....’’, where does it all go? 

Do you bag it all up for charity? Let friends and family have a rummage first? Sell it on EBay or Gumtree? Or are you simply dumping it in the bin? 

I was walking up to my sons one day past some student residences and a guy came out with a bag and went to dump it in the wheelie bin, I saw clothes poking out and me being me stopped him and said '' you cannot throw clothes in the bin, it is polluting this planet, it will only go to an already over loaded landfill which is becoming a huge problem for this planet.... he was shocked by my approach and retreated back into the house with the bag.

My point is, people simply do not know, people are unaware of the fact that their clothing and shopping habits are having an adverse effect on the planet and environment.

The time has come for us to educate the consumer and the campaigns like ‘Fashion Revolution’, ‘Ethical Fashion Forum’, ‘WRAP’ and other organisations have started slowly getting this vital message out there. 

’….New research from WRAP has found that:

 the annual footprints of a household’s new and existing clothing are equivalent to the weight of over 100 pairs of jeans, the water needed to fill over 1,000 bathtubs, and the carbon emissions from driving an average modern car for 6,000 miles;

the average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes – but around 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe has not been worn for at least a year, most commonly because it no longer fits;

Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints;

Two-thirds of UK consumers buy or receive pre-owned (or second-hand) clothes, and there is a willingness to wear more, especially if a better range were available;

And an estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year…’’

(http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/VoC%20FINAL%20online%202012%2007%2011.pdf)

 

Pretty serious stuff hey?

 

So let’s think how best we can tackle this, how do we get the consumer to change their buying habits, the way they take care of their clothes and dispose of them?

In turn how does the consumer change the way a retailer or brand produces and manufactures? 

Time for fast fashion to slow down and to go back to our roots.

 Take a look at how the Victorians looked after their clothing, history can teach us a lot, so can school, education is everything, and it is the key…. What has happened to Home Economics? I always did cooking and sewing at school….Teaching these basic skills, teaching how to repair and mend rather than throw and buy new…. Upcycling would be a great subject to have at school.

Celebrities, pop stars, reality stars should all be taking a good look at how they influence the youth in the image and clothing.

 

Throwing these ideas out there and hopefully I will get some ideas / opinions/ comments back  🙂

(own photograph from V & A Costume Department)