Fashion trends can change as quickly as the seasons change. To continue with this, a lot of people outgrow clothes and ditch last year’s clothes. As your sense of fashion develops, it can be tempting to go shopping and buy yourself a new wardrobe. However, these unnecessary purchases harm the environment, with £140 million worth of clothes being sent to landfills every year in the UK.
Retail labels can design, produce, and sell clothing at an incredibly fast pace. Now, Asos is able to add up to 7,000 new products on its website every week. This rapid production and distribution process is known as fast fashion, and it is harmful to the environment. The global apparel sector is responsible for between 2-10% of global carbon emissions.
If you want to be part of the solution and tackle the climate crisis, you can start by changing your shopping habits. There are many ways you can reuse your old clothes and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some tips on recycling your favorite vintage items and buying used clothes, so you can avoid getting involved in fast fashion trends.
Recycle old favorites
To prevent yourself from indulging in the latest fashion trends, you can recycle your favorite vintage pieces. Although this may seem daunting, you don’t need to be a professional seamstress to start recycling. If you learn some basic sewing skills, you’ll become an eco-designer faster than you think!
Start simple and transform everyday wear into stylish pieces. To recycle a simple t-shirt into a stylish one, get scissors and tailor the fabric to your body shape. But why stop there? You can cut jeans into trendy bucket hats, hoods in eye-catching corsets, and tights into tights. In addition to learning a new skill, you will reduce the amount of clothing you buy and reduce your carbon footprint. What could be better than that?
The wonders of recycling aren’t limited to your wardrobe. Fashion trends repeat themselves every 20-30 years, so some of your parents’ favorite items can be considered stylish again. Another fun idea is to organize a day to share and exchange old clothes with your close friends. This is not only a fun way to spend time trying on new clothes, but it will also save you a lot of money!
Sharing old children’s clothes
If you’re a parent, you’ll understand that kids outgrow their outfits in the blink of an eye. Given that the baby grows at a rate of 6-7 cm per year, it is no wonder that we constantly buy new clothes.
To be as fashion-conscious as possible, consider recycling your kids’ old clothes and giving them to whoever needs them. A high quality baby dress can be used many times over and for much longer than it takes your child to get out of it! Whether you plan to give it to your friends and family or donate to a local charity store, this is a great way to reuse old clothes.
Buying used or recycled clothes
Recycled clothing may be one of the solutions we are looking for. As we strive to reduce our rapid consumption of fashion and reuse our old clothes, companies are leading the way with recycled clothing, accessories and more. Several retailers have started offering recycled lines, such as Cath Kidston, who released the Rose Revival line. Made from premium recycled cotton fabric, these items are fashionable, durable, and earth-friendly.
In addition to buying recycled clothing, you can reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing used clothing. Charity stores are a great way to find clothes you already love, and they are growing in popularity. In fact, Age UK has reported a 25% increase in sales since the start of the pandemic. A treasure trove of hidden treasures, you never know what you’ll find in a charity shop and they can satisfy even the most insatiable shopaholic.
The rise of second-hand websites and apps has encouraged people to shop sustainably as well. In fact, eBay saved 720,000 tons of carbon emissions by reselling merchandise online. Depop, a clothing resale app, is popular among the younger generations, with a third of Gen-Z having an account. As more people buy second hand clothes, there will be a decrease in the demand for fast fashion. This will reduce carbon emissions within the apparel industry, shifting the fashion monopoly from the retail giants to Depop sellers.
Fast fashion may seem tempting, but there is a lot to gain from sustainable shopping. From the advent of resale pallets to recycling and the sharing of old clothes, consumers have many opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint. Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on fast fashion brands, these are some of the ways you can tackle climate change one piece of clothing at a time.
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