Skipping out on using plastic bottles or swapping our cleaning products to greener brands is simple enough. But dressing economically and ethically is still seen as a challenge, yet fashion remains one of the worlds biggest polluters and is up their with oil and coal as a damaging source.
With an estimated £140 million of clothing going into landfills each year, it is not something to go unnoticed. Stacey Dooley’s recent documentary, Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, addresses this issue. At one point, Stacey spoke to Lucy at the Fashioned From Nature Exhibition who explained that “Globally, we’re producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year, and the planet cannot sustain that”.
This rapid roll over has meant that the value of unused clothes in wardrobes is estimated at £30 billion. Almost half of the clothes we own are made of cotton, shops such as Asos and Zara pride on their products being made of the material, even using it as a selling point. However, few people are aware that cotton is responsible for one of the biggest environmental tragedies. Cotton has been being made sustainably for thousands of years. But with the recent high demand, it is now being created on an industrial scale and the chemical and water usage has rocketed causing whole rivers to drain and polluting some communities only water source.
So how can we minimise the problem?
Recycling your clothing is the most simple and easy step to be taken to ease this problem. Taking unwanted clothing to charity or running swap shops are easy to do. Also, mending or adjusting old clothing will minimise your need to replace or bin an item. Even if you’re not the an expert, it’s never too much to drop an item at a seamstress. A local ethical and sustainable clothing shop Revival, often hosts swap shop nights in their store. Check out their Facebook page for the next event. https://www.facebook.com/revivalcollective/. Or you can arrange one yourself with your friends and make a night of it!
Educating on the issue will help spread the message and undermine those fashion companies who are manipulating consumers into buying cotton products and who are promoting fast fashion. Popular Vlogger, Holly Gabrielle, is a passionate vegan and all around eco friendly. Together with her sister, the pair were discontent with the lack of economically and ethically friendly products. So instead, created their own brand of sustainable clothing. Holly has hundreds of young follows who will be able to follow her projects and be influenced by her cause. They only have one item at the moment, but with growing support small projects like this can grow and make friendly clothing the norm. Check out the brand here:
Sustainable clothing is no longer so difficult to find or over priced. Just last month, at London Fashion Week, designer double act Vin + Omi displayed various stylish fabrics created from cans, plastic and cow parsley. The brand has also previously created vegan ‘“leather” from chestnuts, and further plant based fabrics made from nettles, fireweed, parsley and horseradish. Their designs have been worn by many public figures including Michelle Obama, Kate Moss and Beyonce and they also collaborate with other famous designers such as Dior and Louis Vuitton to promote similar production. Check their website out here: http://www.vinandomi.com/bio/4594291683
The company po-zu also sells sustainable shoes here: https://po-zu.com/collections/womens-sale