We all have garments in our cupboards that we no longer wear for various reasons, either because you’ve lost your love for them, or you’ve gained a few centimetres here and there and have made numerous vows to yourself that you would lose the weight and fit into your beloved jeans again, but never did… And let’s not mention your sizeable collection of silly little garments that friends and family have given to you as gift that you’ve never really had the guts to give away or throw out. So what do you do with these item?
As thrilling and intoxicating as the fast fashion market can be with it’s generous offerings of opportunities to reinvent oneself every season, it’s important to bear in mind that there is a darker side to the clothing industry that we as fashionista’s simply cannot continue to ignore. Collectively the global fashion industry contributes three trillion dollars to the world’s GDP and according to Fashion United an estimated 57.8 million jobs in 2014 were provided by the fashion industry worldwide.
However, the clothing industry is the second largest polluting industry of water, second to the oil, and accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon footprint and not to mention the nasty health effects it has on millions of people working to create the clothes we cannot live without.
You can think, ‘oh well that’s nice but what can I possibly do to reduce the waste? Stop buying clothes?’ No Ma’am… I’m all for bargain deals, and I’m not about to put an end to finding cheap fashion but we can all afford to take the first step by supporting initiatives such as the H&M Bring It On campaign which collects clothing in all it’s forms, torn or never worn and uses them either to re clothe those in desperate need across the world or repurposes old garments to use as stuffing for seating in the motor car industry for example. All you need to do is drop off your old clothing at any of the H&M stores. Click on the following link for more details,
Reducing the waste doesn’t have to be a doom and gloom experience in fact it can be very rewarding. Instead of throwing your clothes away you can participate in fashion exchanges like the Skip Fashion Exchange taking place in Sandton City for the month of July where the idea is for you to swap your previously loved clothing with someone else’s. (One woman’s trash is another one’s treasure). There are countless ways to ‘close the loop’ and participating to make the fashion industry better and OUR environment too.
A must see documentary which sheds light on the ugly truths of the clothing industry is True Cost.
A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow- Richard Bach, One