What does that mean to you?
- Do you still want to carry on buying lots of clothes, but not exploit workers?
- Or want a Minimal Capsule Wardrobe which makes getting dressed in the morning easy?
The issues around our current apetite for fast fashion have been written about widely, here they are again – in case you missed anything:
- Producers exploit workers, particularly in countries like Bangladesh to give you ‘cheap’ clothing.
- The water required to grow the vast quantities of cotton we are demanding, diverts clean water from the people who need it.
- Pesticides used to obtain good yields of cotton affect the health of cotton farmers their families and neighbours.
- We send tonnes of clothing to landfill every year.
- Approximately 10% of charity shop donations are sold in UK shops, with the rest sold into the ‘rag trade’ to be down-cycled.
- The quality of fabrics being produced for fast fashion is poor, they don’t last long.
The film The True Cost sets out the issues clearly.
Your wardrobe needs to sustain you, what clothing do you need, to keep you warm (or cool) and make you feel good?
A sustainable wardrobe means different things to different people. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by it all. Just decide where you want to start, what is most important to you.
- Exploitation of workers: cotton farmers/textile producers/garment workers/retail staff
- Landfill: the sheer quantity of waste we are producing
- Water: is access to clean drinking water a basic human right?
- Pesticides: The damage to people and the planet, the exploitation of the cotton farmers by the producers of pesticide and seed.
- Being warm and comfortable
- Keeping up with Fashion trends
Then do ONE thing to make a start. You could:
- Carry out a wardrobe audit; actually write a list of every item of clothing you own, you will be surprised.
- Buy less; think about what you actually need before making a purchase.
- Ask you favourite Brand about their ethical policies; you might find information on their website.
- If you are buying clothes every month, you could consider a Fashion Fast, and join a group like No New Clothes for a Year where you will find lots of other people making changes to their shopping habits.
- Choose organic cotton, look for the GOTS certification.
- Seek out ethical brands.
- Buy from UK brands like STALF producing on a small scale, supporting the local economy, providing local jobs (for people like me), and sourcing high quality ethical fabrics, some of which are even produced in the UK.
What will you do? I’d love to hear from you!