My interest in sustainability started over the summer when I was doing a spring clean of my wardrobe. After days of clearing out, I not only realised how many clothes I had, but more importantly how many that I’d never worn. The average person uses about 20% of their wardrobe, the rest hang there, unloved.
After sending about 10 black bags of clothes to a recycling bank, I got thinking about what happens to the clothing we don’t want anymore. I found that an estimated £140 million worth of clothing each year goes to landfill (just in the UK), items that may have been worn only a few times.
Constantly buying new clothes just makes you love the ones you already have less. Therefore, I’ve made a pledge to myself to buy less and buy better. What better way to help the environment by only buying things that you know you’ll love and that’ll last a lifetime. Consider the resources such as; energy, water and time, that go into making a garment available for us to buy.
Here are 5 tips to help you reduce you carbon footprint with clothing …and save money (we are students after all)
- Wear what you already have– what people often don’t realise when shopping is that they already have a very similar item. Extending the active use of clothes by just three months leads to a 5-10% reduction of its impact. Not only are you helping to de-clutter your closet, you’re also saving money!
- Sharing your clothes – by sharing clothes with your friends or family, you can feel like you have a whole new wardrobe. Even by taking part in events like ‘Clothes Swaps’.
- Repair and upcycle your items – save an item and repair it, in such a time conscious world, clothing is usually thrown away because of the lack of effort to repair it. Repair it, save money and gain a new skill! Even socialise by taking part in repair workshops.
- Buying from second hand – Clothes have a lot of history to them in a positive way. Why not give an item a chance at a second life by both donating to and buying from charity shops? My sister did once find a sanitary towel in some “vintage jeans” …so make sure you always check the pockets.
- Recycle or give away – Recycling your item should be the last option! There are so many things that can be done to transform it, but if its life has come to an end save it from landfill and recycle with stores such as H&M and Marks & Spencer’s
REMEMBER every little helps!!! (copyright Tesco)
I’m currently writing my dissertation on lowering people’s fashion consumption and I am currently conducting some primary research. I would be grateful if you, the reader, could fill out my quick, 2-minute survey to contribute to my research. Click the link below to start the survey:
If you’d like to join my focus group on Wednesday 15th March, THERE’S A FREE LUNCH. Just leave your details at the end of my survey and I’ll get in touch.
-Thank you to Viviana Oliva, who is a student at NTU studying Fashion Management, for writing this blog post!
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