To have a ‘sensibility for sustainable clothing’ means to act in environmentally friendly and ethically conscious ways when purchasing, owning and caring for clothes.
Some important actions could be….
♦ BUY LESS CLOTHING
Image source Ecomena
Recently there have been some alarming statistics emerging from people’s wardrobes. In cultures where cheap fashion is available in every high street, on the pages of hundreds of magazines and the bewildering selection of internet shops, it seems that people are buying items of clothing and never wearing them. They are instead, leaving them in their wardrobes, closets and drawers to sit unused. Eventually, when these storage spaces are cleared, the items are no longer ‘on-trend’ therefore potentially useless to someone who likes to follow the latest fashions.
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In 2012 Wrap stated “UK consumers have around £30 billion worth of clothes which they haven’t worn for a year hanging in their wardrobes”.
In 2016, following a collaborative body of research with M&S, Oxfam discovered “One in 20 of us even has over 50 items in our closets with the tags still on.”
Traid estimates that in London alone 123,000,000 garments are unworn on average per year. This doesn’t mean that all of them are new. The statistics for people owning clothes they’ve worn once or a few times and don’t wear any longer is staggering. If you find that your wardrobe is prone to ‘clutter’ or full of things you never wear or just keep compulsively buying, ‘just in case’ or because it was a ‘bargain’ and you wish to change this, one thing you can do is buy less. Set yourself a limit, or goal and stick to it. This in turn may help you to buy better quality items you know you will really love and wear a lot, these items can become a wardrobe ‘investment’.
Or you could even have some ‘time out’. Some people have made a decision not to buy anything new for a year in order to re-think and re-work their wardrobe, save some money and help the environment. Yes, sometimes the saying, ‘less is more’, is definitely true!
♦ BUY FROM ETHICAL CLOTHING BRANDS
image source ‘Thrive’ by K.Chayne
Back in the day, an ‘eco-brand’ garment often had the aesthetic appearance of being solely ‘hemp-like’, big, ‘hippy-ish’ and un-stylish. The simple baggy cuts in neutral shades and rough organic fibres didn’t appeal to everyone’s look and often were so expensive that they didn’t appeal to everyone’s budget either. Organic clothing had a bad press. Today things are rapidly changing and ‘ethical’ is becoming the new retail hot ticket. No brand wants to be seen to be complicit in abusing their workers or the environment and earning the reputation as being a company that only cares about profit and not people, planet or oceans is a hard label to shake. Mud sticks as the saying goes and big major high street players are increasingly being scrutinised and questioned about both their manufacturing practices and brand ethos. Admittedly, it must be tough for a big corporate retail brand who’ve been mindlessly churning out cheap clothes and making massive profits to turn their process around overnight but now governments around the worlds are paying attention and new legislative boundaries about the use of harmful chemicals in manufacturing, for example, in the European Parliament REACH legislation is having a big impact across the fashion & textiles sector.
♦ BUY USED, SECOND-HAND, PRE-LOVED OR VINTAGE CLOTHES
image source logopond
image source pintaran
image source seeklogo.com
♦ SWAP OR ‘SWISH’ YOUR CLOTHING
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image source allevents.in
♦ LEARN TO SEW WITH A MACHINE OR BY HAND
♦ LEARN TO KNIT OR CROCHET
♦ RE-CYCLE OR UP-CYCLE OLD CLOTHING
♦ MEND OR REPAIR YOUR CLOTHES
♦ LAUNDER YOUR CLOTHES LESS
♦ USE ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE WASHING SUBSTANCES
♦ ‘AIR’ YOUR CLOTHES INSTEAD OF LAUNDERING
♦ STORE YOUR CLOTHES PROPERLY
♦ SUPPORT A SUSTAINABLE FASHION CAMPAIGNING GROUP
♦ START YOUR OWN MAKING, REPAIRING, SWAPPING OR CAMPAIGNING GROUP
♦ ASK YOUR FAVOURITE BRANDS WHAT THEY ARE DOING
♦ SHARE YOUR SUSTAINABLE FASHION KNOWLEDGE
♦ LOVE YOUR CLOTHES