The fashion industry’s negligence when it comes to the environment continues to alarm us. Not only does fashion production account for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, but it’s also the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
With the rise of fast, disposable fashion, there’s a clear lack of progressive change being made. It’s now up to consumers to force the fashion industry to change. Here are some practical things you can do to help change the world with your wardrobe.
Research the brand:
Don’t accept everything a clothing brand says as gospel. Many clothing brands try to give the impression they are eco-friendly when they might not be.
This is called greenwashing. Take the initiative to peek ‘behind the curtain’ and research brands to find out what they are actually doing to help the minimise their environmental impact. Don’t be afraid to contact brands directly, either. If they really are doing good, they’ll probably be happy to tell you about it.
Choose eco-friendly fabrics:
Like brands, some fabrics are more eco-friendly than others. It’s can sometimes be easy to forget that every item of clothing has its materials listed on the label. Some of the fabrics we suggest avoiding are:
- Non-organic cotton – This is particularly environmentally demanding, with between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons of water being used to make a single pair of jeans.
- Synthetical materials like polyester and nylon – These are not biodegradable and use harmful petrochemicals in production.
- Leather – This material contributes massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere.
However, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of fabrics that are more sustainable and less harmful to the planet. This includes organic cotton, hemp, linen and lyocell. These materials don’t require a lot of resources to create, and produce minimal carbon emissions.
Next time you’re out shopping, take a closer look at the label and see what fabric you’re going to be wearing.
Another way to tackle fast fashion is to reject new clothing altogether, by purchasing preloved clothing. Vintage boutiques and charity shops are always full of unique and interesting pieces that are ready to be reloved. Second-hand shopping is a growing trend, and it’s not limited to the high street. It’s now easy to buy used clothes online, making for a cheaper and greener way to purchase an outfit.
Please avoid sending clothes you no longer need to landfill. Instead, Mother Earth will thank you for donating or reselling them. At Enviroclothes, we will purchase your unwanted clothes and give you 40p per kg!
Think globally, shop locally:
One of the reasons the fashion industry accounts for such a large proportion of carbon emissions is due to mass production. A few big companies own a significant portion of the market share, and many of these do little to reduce their negative impact on the environment. You can break the mould by shopping locally, at smaller independent clothing shops.
And last, but not least, you can try clothes shopping on your local high street instead of driving or taking public transport into the nearest city centre. This is a really simple but effective way to make a positive impact on the planet.