We all love a good bargain – we rush to the after Christmas sales, we can buy cheap clothes at the click of a button. But a bargain is not always good news.
Almost ten percent of carbon emissions come from the fashion industry, which also uses around 1.5 trillion litres of water every year. Bargain clothes often release microplastics when they are washed.
People are buying and wearing more and more clothes as trends change. Because the fashion industry is global, imagine the journey of a bikini – which may have been produced in Bangladesh in an abusive sweat shop, then shipped to the UK for their summer, and then if it is not sold, shipped to South Africa in time for their summer.
Fast fashion also uses large numbers of chemicals to treat and dye the textiles. Not only is this dangerous for workers, it goes into wastewater and pollutes rivers and oceans.
The fashion industry is dominated by polyester which is non biodegradable and produced from petrochemicals with high carbon emissions.
What to do? Here are a few suggestions:
- When you buy clothes – think of them as a product, not as a once often entertainment (what shall I wear for that party – then I can’t wear it again).
- Buy the best quantity you can.
- Lend and borrow clothes freely.
- Be trendy and embrace vintage clothing!
- Have clothes swops with your friends.
- Give away or donate to jumble sales the clothes you haven’t worn for three years!
- Avoid polyester where possible.
- Repair, rewear , recycle!