It’s estimated that approximately one in every five pieces of clothing are never worn. That means that there are huge amounts of waste being produced every year due to fashion alone. Every item that is unused or thrown away has a negative impact upon our environment.
Why Sustainable Fashion Matters
For most people seeking to lead a sustainable lifestyle, fashion may not be at the top of their lists. Yet, clothing and footwear are a necessary part of everyone’s lives, whether or not you are actively interested in fashion itself. By actively engaging in sustainable practices with regards to fashion, we can help to influence the fashion industry into making important, vital changes to their practices, which will benefit all of us and our planet.
At its core, the importance of sustainable fashion is that in the long-term it will help to lead to a reduction in demand for new, raw materials and hopefully, shift the focus towards the production of materials in a way which is more eco-friendly. For example, using organic fabrics (including organic cotton) is a more environmentally-friendly choice, as these are grown using fewer harmful chemicals and less water. Equally, by supporting sustainable fashion practices, we can also help to reduce carbon emissions and ultimately reduce waste, all of which is important for our environment and the wellbeing of our planet.
Engaging in Sustainable Fashion Practices
Whatever your circumstances, you too can engage in sustainable fashion practices. You may decide that from this point forward you will make all your purchases, or one main purchase per year, from brands which are committed to sustainable fashion. Or you might decide to upcycle and reuse existing items or share, donate or recycle clothes you no longer want.
Another easy and effectively strategy is to support your local charity shop by giving donations and purchasing new items from them instead of big brands or ‘fast fashion’ shops. If you have children, this can be a particularly good choice. Not only are you helping to promote sustainable practices, but you can also save money, especially as children quickly outgrow most of their clothes. Donating children’s clothing which is in good condition or swapping clothes on online swap shops or parenting groups can be an effective strategy for parents looking to keep costs low.
Or perhaps you want to start to find out more about the origin of your clothes? You could download one of the many apps available (such as Good on You or Buycott) to find out more about where your clothes come from and how responsible and sustainable, they are. You might also decide to start engaging with #whomademyclothes on social media, to draw attention to the issue and encourage debate and discussion.
Throughout August we have focused on sustainable fashion and footwear. This week, we invite you to choose one aspect of sustainable fashion which you want to implement and take forward with you into your daily lifestyle.
It doesn’t need to be a big change. Perhaps you want to commit to visiting your local charity shop first when buying new clothes. Or maybe you want to reduce the amount of clothes or footwear you buy, or simply find out more information about where and how your clothes are made and share it with others.
Sustainable lifestyle choices begin with a willingness and desire to make changes to your existing practices. Depending on your circumstances or how far along the sustainability journey you are, these changes will differ, but even tiny adjustments can make a big impact when we all consciously choose to commit to them.
What aspects of sustainable fashion will you be committing to? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!