Have you ever sat and thought about where do our disused clothes actually go? That favourite jumper you had when you were nine that ‘had’ to be binned because you stained it.
There are 7.8 billion people on this planet. Where does everyone’s clothes go? And how are we keeping the planet healthy with all the extra luggage?
When clothes are thrown away into landfills, the materials that they are made out of start to decompose and break down, releasing toxic gasses that are harmful to the environment. With that being said it usually takes around 200 years for the clothing to eventually decompose – multiply that by the big number above and you can start to see where the issue is.
Landfills are terrible for our health and environment. They make up a large percentage of greenhouse gasses (methane and CO2) which are particularly extremely harmful to us and the environment.
However, there are solutions to the problem – and one of them is potentially the fashion industry.
Circular fashion – what is it?
It is described as “all articles of clothing including shoes and other accessories should all be designed with the sole intention of being used in a circular way in society for as long as possible”. The material will be sourced and produced with the same intention and then, when the garment is no longer of use, it will be bio-degradable to shed the planet from pollution.
Business and companies need to start thinking about what happens to the clothes after the consumer has worn them and how will that impact the earth? Circular fashion is all about sustainability and re-use.
So, how are business and companies going about making their clothes and brands eco-friendly? There are already big name companies that are playing their part in eco-friendly clothing. Big brands such as; H&M Conscious, Levi, and Eileen Fisher.
H&M also have the option to recycle unwanted clothes in their shops in return for discount of future purchases.
According too the H&M group, the focus areas are:
“Exploring solutions to create a closed loop for textiles, where unwanted clothes can be recycled into new ones.
Setting sustainability targets for a circular fashion industry within planetary boundaries using a science-based approach.
Applying circular economy principles to its sustainability strategies, both for commercial and non-commercial goods, such as packaging.”
These companies care about the future of our planet.
Simple ways on how YOU can recycle your wardrobe:
First off give your wardrobe a quick scan and find pieces of clothing that you don’t mind cutting up or you’re certain never want to wear again.
1. If you have articles of clothing that once belonged to a loved one, you could cut them up and create a memorial blanket or quilt. This way you can re-use the clothing and have a special remembrance of them.
video created by YouTuber – Scrappy Patch
2. If the article of clothing you choose is broken, such as a missing button or a tear – try repairing it. If you can’t take it to a local tailor and see what they can do for you.
3. Turn your old T-shirts into re-usable shopping bags! This is a great idea to help the environment in more than one way! There are even options to create sew-less bags if you aren’t comfortable with a needle and thread.
video created by YouTuber SewnBySophie
4. Turn the old clothes into things that you can use around the house, such as a tea towel or a rag cloth to help clean the kitchen.
These are just a few fun things you can do with your old clothes, especially during the current lockdown. It could be a fun-filled family activity.
If we start incorporating circular fashion into our society now, we can begin the healing process of the planet. By companies and businesses playing their part it can decrease the level of pollutions that clothes make once they have been binned.