Become More Passionate About Fashion! #LoveMeForLife
It is likely that you have seen the shocking statistics:
less than 1% of textiles are recycled into new clothing at the end of their life,
300,000 tonnes of textiles are thrown away each year,
Three planets’ worth of natural resources will be required to support our current lifestyle by 2050,
$500billion is lost annually to clothing underutilisation and lack of recycling.
Fashion trends and the need for ‘this season’s’ special look available at lower prices has meant that clothing re-usability is declining: the average number of times a garment is worn has decreased globally by 36% compared to 15 years ago. In the US, clothes are worn only for around a quarter of global average and in China, clothing utilisation has decreased by 70% over the last 15 years (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). Here in the UK, we win the prize for buying more clothing than any other European country. It is not just what happens to clothes when they are thrown out – clogging up landfills, taking up to 200 years to decompose (Edge Expo), but the fact that fashion is the 3rdmost polluting industry, after fossil fuels and air travel.
We all must be part of the change from the current norm of a “buy and bin” society.
And there is hope and help on the horizon…
While tackling the big picture problem might feel overwhelming, a few simple steps can make a difference. Read on to find out how!
“The solution is to become much more passionate about fashion and what this fundamentally really means to me at least is to buy better clothes that we absolutely love and to wear them for much, much longer. Learn how to style and have fun with them, repair them, swap them and just keep them in use for as long as possible before you pass them on, swap them or recycle them, but never ever put them into the landfill.” (Cristina Dean, Founder of Redress)
Sustainable fashion – in some circles - is no longer a trend: it is a new norm. It is not cool to buy cheap new clothes anymore, just like it is not cool to buy plastic bottles of water or not to know what goes into recycling bins…
Renting, swapping and giving away clothes has been around for centuries: one just need to be fortunate enough “to belong to a secret club” of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and close friends where fabulous clothes (and lucky charms that go with them) are exchanged and shared. The secret clubs are now expanding rapidly and opening their doors to wider cycle of treasure hunters. Check out The Big Clothes Switch by Stories Behind Things.
Another excellent way to become a sustainable fashionista is to develop a habit of repairing or restyling your favourite clothes. Mending workshops for example, are becoming increasingly popular as are Repair cafés. Visit Fabrications and check out Wise up to Waste Repair cafés.
TRAID is a fantastic initiative, a charity that not only helps you to stop throwing clothes away but also helps to fund and educate people around the necessity for a circular economy where reuse and recycling is becoming a priority. They also have a fantastic new service, which apart from anything is free. You can have your clothes (both reusable and too damaged to reuse) picked up from your home.
PW recently ventured to the local West London TRAID shop in Westbourne Grove and met the delightful staff there. Here, Tom and Louisa work as staff and volunteers respectively and Marta manage the shop, having worked at TRAID for 14 years. Tom is Welsh, Marta is Polish and Louisa is Spanish. The shop runs with 4 volunteers and 5 paid staff.
The staff were super committed and helpful. They work at TRAID because they believe, in Marta’s words that ‘those clean clothes you buy in those new shiny shops, they are DIRTY’.
Marta is responsible for sourcing the clothes she knows will work for her West London customers and picks them out at TRAID’s central warehouse. All the staff are able to help customers to find the sizes and looks they are looking for as they are familiar with what comes in every week. The best part of working there for all of them is the team spirit and being part of a wider mission.
TRAID also launched TRAID REMADE using clothes to refashion new clothes. They do this at pop-ups and events, which are advertised through social media.
Finally, we also wanted to share with you the exciting news about the launch of #LoveMeForLife campaign @prosperoarts. The campaign offers practical solutions and everyday tips for prolonging the life of our clothes and slowing down our consumption rates without having to sacrifice the beauty, the feel-good factor, reinvention or communication that comes with shopping for new clothes. #LoveMeForLife will offer followers simple steps all of us can take to be conscious fashion lovers. The campaign will also provide followers with carefully selected, useful facts and figures to help us all make better fashion choices. Finally @prosperoarts will highlight and celebrate the best practices in sustainable fashion and applaud those who are already doing a great job.
As always, we would love to hear what you think! Let us know what would support you most on your journey to being a conscious citizen, fighting to preserve our planet and to becoming a mindful fashion lover.
Prospero World team x
Love Your Clothes – consumer campaign of The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) UK Charity 1159512 to help reform consumer behaviour around clothing purchases, use and longevity. WRAP has produced research and fashion industry guidance on producing more sustainable and durable textiles and clothing.