The clothes which are no longer desired are thrown away to be collected like normal rubbish. I’m going to tell you what happens to these clothes. The clothing industry is having a huge impact on our world. I’m going to inspire you to do something else other than throw your clothes in the bin.
Landfill Sites Getting Full
It is estimated that within the UK around £140 million of used but wearable clothing is sent to landfill every year. This is equivalent to 350,000 tonnes! A lot of these garments aren’t recyclable and simply pile up in the landfill. The fast fashion culture has to answer to this. The ‘wear a garment once and throw it away’ mantra has become vastly popular. It’s as if the fashion culture has changed to ‘OMG I can’t wear the same outfit twice’. I hear you! Who doesn’t love a new outfit?
But our already worn clothes can still look great. Maybe more needs to be done by brands and influences to show that wearing the same outfit more than once is actually ok. The durability of clothing is also decreasing due to fast fashion. The average life of a garment is just 3.3 years. Maybe this is why more and more fashion is ending up in the bin. It seems that quality of clothing is on the decline which is why garments can be sold for cheap.
PLT is the most renowned fashion brand for selling their clothes for cheap. Last year the brand came under fire as their Black Friday sale saw their prices slashed by up to 99%. It’s questionable how the company can sell garments for so cheap, make a profit and be eco friendly. The amount you spend replacing items you could buy more expensive items that will last so much longer. Brands like H&M, Monki and Levi’s are making the effort to becoming more ethical and eco friendly. H&M have links on their website describing their material ethics policies. Unlike PLT, who have extremely vague references as to how they’re eco-friendly.
There are so many options for our used clothes. Websites like Ebay and Depop are a great way to sell garments onto someone who will use them. Charity shops are also a great option to clear your wardrobes. Oxfam announced a 2% increase in donations in one year. It is surprising that only 10-20% of these donations are sold by the charity shops. But what happens to the un-sold items? The rest being sold to countries like Malaysia where they can be sold in second-hand markets. Although these countries are stopping imports of these clothing, and some already have. It seems to be a vicious cycle of clothing. Surely donating to charity shops is the better option than in the bin.
Fashion being the second largest consumer of water is surprising and also the second largest polluter of water. The left over water from dying materials ends up in rivers and streams which we and animals consume. These dyes contain harmful chemicals that can cause problems for those who digest it. If we could see these chemicals I bet we wouldn’t consume them! It’s most likely to take harsh reality before we make any changes to our thoughts about the fast fashion industry.
Will You Change Your Habits?
I hope these facts and figures inspire you to change fashion buying habits. The way you shop doesn’t just affect the planet, its also the people on this planet. Making more conscious decisions will help make this planet a better place to live.