Most people like to be fashionable, or at least have a sense of what type of clothing they like to wear. The fashion industry drives the believe that you must have the latest trends that fly in and out of season monthly or even weekly.
Perhaps what you didn’t know is by following fashion trends and supporting the clothing industry you are aiding to their massive carbon footprint. Now I’m not going to lie I have my fair share of clothing items, but perhaps it is time to make a change. Saying that it’s not the best idea to go throwing all your clothes away just yet.
Globalisation and new technologies have allowed the clothing industry to expand and flourish. Making it easier and cheaper to make more clothes, and fast. This rapid expansion means clothing stores are constantly getting in new stock and trading the old with the new. Constantly bringing in new fashion trends makes consumers buy more frequently. To make room for their expanding wardrobe they must throw away the old stuff (often clothes that are perhaps not even a year old).
So not only are the shops, outlets and the consumers throwing out mass amounts of clothes (sometimes unworn), making the industry as a whole extremely wasteful, but the production of the materials used in clothing are extremely detrimental to the environment. Some man-made fabrics such as polyester and acrylic fibers used in clothing, contain microplastics which are thought to be released into the sewage every time we wash our clothes. These mircoplastics are eaten by small invertebrates and move their way down the food chain to us, therefore having a devastating impact on our oceans. This is only a small part of it as the industry releases an alarming amount of carbon dioxide, consumes an astounding amount of water and a crazy amount of pesticides (which are harming pollinating species such as bees).
And all of what ? So we can look fashionable when the next season rolls in.
Luckily there are some brands that try to minimise there waste and harm to the environment, but they tend to be the very expensive brands, which as a student I know I can not afford. So if you can’t afford to stick to brands that are environmentally conscious, what can you do?
I would suggest looking in second hand clothing stores, or having a clothing swap with your friends. That way you save money and potentially stop those clothes ending up in land fills. You can also try to buy clothes that won’t contain microplastics such as cotton. Although be aware that cotton is still a very thirsty plant that is often sprayed down with many pesticides. If you must have new clothing items, before you throw away the old ones perhaps get a bit creative and see if you could create your own pieces using your recycled clothes.
The most important thing is to be aware of the damage you are causing when you buy clothes. Perhaps stop and think before you take home that cute dress or stylish top, how long until it will end up in landfill?
All photos were taken myself, go to the about page to find out more about me
To find out more about the fashion industry’s carbon footprint click here.
To find out more about the mircoplastics in your clothes click here.