Did you know that……
- The UK sends an average of 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill each year.
- One wash load of polyester clothes can release 700,000 microplastic fibres into the environment. Approximately half a million tonnes of these end up in the sea each year.
- The fashion industry is responsible for 1,715 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions – that’s more than the aviation and shipping industry combined.
- Producing clothing is water intensive. The average water footprint for a kilo of cotton is 10,000-20,000 litres, but the major suppliers of cotton to the UK (India and Pakistan) suffer from high levels of water scarcity.
Fashion is a billion-dollar industry and the second most polluting business after oil. It has a direct impact on the environment and has also been linked to maltreatment of the workforce.
So, what can we do?
- Buy pre-loved clothes when you can: charity shops, Market Place, eBay, gumtree etc. Stroud has at least 6 fantastic shops supporting great causes and you can drop off your preloved items at same time.
- Take a long hard look at what you have in the wardrobe. Maybe get the sewing machine out and make do and mend: great ideas at https://tinyurl.com/y3wosv2g 3.
- Swap with friends and come to local clothes recycling events.
- Buy fewer new clothes, or even better don’t buy new clothes!
- If you do buy, shop consciously: seek out sustainable and ethically produced clothes. The worst offenders are polyester, nylon (including fleece), conventional cotton and Viscose. Better materials are linen, hemp, wool, lyocell or Tencel fibres (compostable and biodegradable) and organic cotton. Gradually there are some good outlets emerging for sustainable and ethical clothing Click here
Local initiatives include
- Merry Go Round Childrens’ Clothes, based in Bisley – preloved children’s clothes https://www.merrygoroundchildrensclothes.com/
- Madia and Matilda: make beautiful clothes and sources fabrics from those destined for landfill. https://madiamatilda.co.uk/sustainable matters
- A Brilliant Disguise, 25 High Street, Stroud –relaunched in summer 2020 stocking a good range of ethical brands https://abrilliantdisguise.co.uk
So.. when you buy, make it special, buy to keep and pass on… or buy pr-loved: ‘ Vintage shopping is very on trend and you can pick up something unique ’ ..Molly (18, France Lynch and Manchester Uni).