80 billion items of new clothing are made every year globally. Since we are less than 8 billion people on the planet, and far from everybody get new clothes every year, some of us really need to have a look at our shopping habits.
On average, we buy 60% more clothing than we did 15 years ago — but we keep each item only half as long. It is estimated that nearly 60% of all clothing produced end up being burned or in landfills within one year of being made. Of all recycled clothes only 10% is being reused as clothing. Most is being cut up and made into sewing thread in India.
What can you do?
Repair. Learn some basic sewing that will make you able to repair your favourite outfits. Or pay a seamstress. It might be cheaper than you think.
Buy secondhand. Some of us have a problem with wearing used clothes. Something a stranger have been wearing. But work with yourself and try a new habit. A lot of secondhand shops are actually donating money to the poor. So, while you are getting used to wearing “new-to-you” clothing, you are supporting a good cause.
The latest is ‘swishing’. Arrangements within friends and family to swap clothing. Then you at least know who wore it before you.
Be creative. There are so many good ideas on Pinterest and YouTube of how to make a basket, a rug, potholders and rags out of your old T-shirts. Or you can even make bags, stuffed animals and hairbands. Most are not that hard to do, and practice makes perfect. Just get started.
Buy responsibly. If none of the above is for you, at least be responsible in buying new. Ask your favourite brand how and where the clothes are made. Ask about the production of the fabric and the well-being of the workers. Some brands are making an effort to be sustainably and fair in production of their clothes.
It is all a question of attitude. Not only towards your personal style – but your planet.
Fashion is an important part of our lives because its bringing aesthetics into society. It just needs to be hand in hand with ethics as well.
Did you know that since the 60’s – thanks to the fast-fashion industry – our average consumption has
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