23 February 2019
The Paris fashion show will soon be upon us and the spring colours and designs will soon be in the shops. Millions of shoppers will be throwing out the old to bring in the new, even ifthe ‘old’ has only been worn a few times or even not at all.
The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars. If you are like me and find big numbers hard, think of it as 3,000 billion - it might help!
Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world. ‘Fast fashion’ is the term used to describe the high rate of fashion consumption because garments are worn less and discarded more quickly. In order to protect brand names and exclusivity, stock that hasn’t sold is burned. Last year Burberry burned £30 million worth of stock.
Across the industry only 1% of old stock is recycled into new garments. Apparently it takes 5,000 gallons of water to make a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and the waste water is polluted with toxic chemicals.
Maybe things are beginning to change. Redress, 2020 Circular Fashion, and Fashion Revolution are fashion activist groups challenging the industry to be sustainable and indeed more compassionate. The use of fur is much less common and there is a small step towards greater transparency in terms of brands being prepared to publish how they are reusing, recycling and generally cleaning up their act.
Planning a party? Why not have a ‘clothes swap’ night, you don’t have to take them off atthe party just bring the ones you want to swap in a bag for life!
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