How fashion is effecting our planet
Australians are a fashionable bunch, but at what cost? Cheap fashion, spending habits and fast fashion production are having a huge impact on our current environment. Here, in brief are some of the effects the fashion industry is having on our planet. And how you can become a more conscious and mindful shopper through sustainable shopping practices.
Did you know the average Australian person will buy 27 kilograms of clothing each year and then discard about 23 kilograms into landfill? Two thirds of those discarded are man-made synthetic/plastic fibers that may never breakdown. The scarier thing is, this is double the global world average per person. Big price to pay for looking good right?
Ecological research has shown synthetic clothes like polyester are shedding micro-plastic particles into some of the worlds wastewater streams. This then enters the food chain. -According to an article by Textile beat– What we are putting out into the world is coming back to us.
The environment and fashion industry are two topics I am deeply passionate about. The importance of education to the consumer is key. Once people know this information they can make their own decisions more consciously. Consumerism effects the cycle and rate of what is being produced in the fashion industry. Something we can all do is slow down and purchase more thoughtfully. Looking at how these items will be disposed when they are no longer wanted. Maybe if we change our buying habits it will in turn help reduce the amount of clothing waste placed on our planet.
Fast fashion is becoming as cheap as a lunch out, but that’s no need to buy it!
I read the average woman wears only 40 per cent of what’s in her wardrobe, so what happens to the rest of those items?
Did you know about 25% of donations to Op shops just goes straight into landfill?
The Guardian published December 2017 says it perfectly, “It’s the impulse shopping that leads to an increase in dumping, more than considered purchases. So slow down and think about things properly so they don’t end up in the bin.”
*Australian Bureau of Statistics reports 501,000 tonnes of leather and textiles were sent to landfill in 2009-10. Doesn’t that make you feel sick inside?
Some manufacturers are producing goods within one week. Can you imagine, source fabric, sample, cut and manufacture to be in store after 7 days. This brings up so many issues. Like the quality of clothing being produced and the production working conditions on staff. I wonder if companies in the industry are producing at this rate, how will it effect us going into the next decade?
How can we be more sustainable when shopping for fashion?
You may be reading this for a reason and that could be to pass on this discovered information onto educate others. Here are some individual steps to being a more eco-friendly shopper;
Make an extra effort to stop buying fast fashion impulsively. Just because it’s on sale or trending right now, doesn’t really mean you should buy it. Think of the amount of use you will get from wearing it and then assess your purchase.
Try clothing swaps as an alternate with friends. If there are clothes that you no longer wear try selling them on Facebook marketplace or at an outdoor market. You will do your bit for the planet while making a buck or two.
Invest in quality over quantity. This is a big one, purchase quality made clothing items. Keep less stored in your wardrobe so you can mix and match items easy. By spending a little more on quality you are ensuring you have a product that will last longer, is better made and will invest in the future of our planet.
Buying natural fabrics that are biodegradable, organic or ethically-sourced will encourage businesses that are caring for our environment to grow.
Don’t think in a disposable way. With the help of consumerism and marketing we are brainwashed to think that we should be owning the newest of everything. From phones to cars, clothing and so on. Be bold enough not to buy into it and make it a choice of your own, remember less is more.
Sustainable shopping practices
Leading the way into the future of this topic, Textile beat has developed Slow Clothing Manifesto, which I love! It is based on 10 actions: think, natural, quality, local, care, few, make, adapt, revive and salvage. We have shared the picture above.
So, now you know the basics, hopefully by sharing this information you can all go out into the world and make your own contribution to being a more sustainable shopper. Remember no matter how small your effort is, every decision you make affects the chain.
Happy Smart shopping 🙂