We love our Industry but we also need to be aware of its limits and damages to our planet. The fashion industry largely contributes to the polluting of our planet. One pair of jeans takes on average 7,000 litres of water to make. To put that into context, that’s the amount of water you will drink in 5 – 6 years. By extending the life of your clothes by an extra 9 months, you’ll typically reduce your Carbon Waste by 20-30%. Of course, companies need to adapt and react but at the end, the consumer also needs to take part of the responsibility. Here are our top tips for making your wardrobe more sustainable.
Often when we have worn a garment, we chuck it straight into the laundry basket and then into the washer along with multiple other clothes. Now with colour catcher sheets, we aren’t even separating the colours. This can lead to shrinking jumpers and damaged shirts, which ultimately get thrown away because they no longer fit. By reading the care label on your clothes, you’ll see what temperature and if it needs hand washing. This way you’ll avoid that brand new jumper shrinking to your dogs’ size!
By doing this you will save time when out shopping as you’ll know which brands to avoid and which ones to spend hours pouring over beautiful designs! Each brand’s website will explain their values and how their garments are made. It is there you’ll be able to find out if they are conscious of reducing waste and using sustainable materials.
Putting your old clothes in the bin is never an option. Discarded clothes sit in landfills, taking years to biodegrade, and then the gases contribute to air pollution. Firstly, see if you can switch it up a bit, can you crop the item, or tie-dye? If that doesn’t work out you could offer the item to your friends who might appreciate it. They might either re-wear it or use the material for other things. Lastly, drop off your old clothes at the charity shop. Charity shops are always in need of new stock and the money goes to an excellent cause!
When trying to rewear your wardrobe, it’s significantly easier to wear a neutral top again and again, but trying to rewear a bright floral jacket becomes harder. Make decisions to invest in items that you can use over and over so that you always have staples in your wardrobe and you can just keep updating it with some trendy pieces.
Often for special occasions, we find ourselves wanting to wear a new outfit! This is the perfect time to ask your friends if you can raid their wardrobe for the night. Borrowing clothes is the perfect way to have that new outfit feeling without buying a wear-once item or adding to consumption.
This is another step to include before taking a piece to a charity shop. Think of it as ‘Repair before you Replace’! If you make sure you are washing your clothes correctly, it can help prevent small holes or snags from appearing in the material. But if they do, always try and get it repaired!
Livia Firth is the founder of Eco-Age. Eco-Age is essentially the company that certifies brands for sustainability. Firth decided to create the campaign #30wears, which is where you are yourself ‘will I wear this thirty times?’ If the answer is yes, you can buy the item. The aim of the campaign is to make us more conscious about our shopping habits to avoid impulse buys!
At G&M we believe it is each individuals responsibility to do their part in saving our planet: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.“