THE ERA OF EXTREME CONSUMERISM – CONSUMPTION & WASTE IN FASHION
There are 90 million tons of waste a year produced by the fashion industry. About 80% of all clothing that’s thrown away ends up in landfills – only 20% of it is recycled. Clothing is getting cheaper and people are throwing away more. We have become a ‘throw away’ culture seeing little value for the clothing we buy therefore disregarding the value of what goes into making these clothes – from the raw materials to the labor to the shipping involved all over the world. How do we value fashion? Where is its craft? Has fashion lost its style? These are a lot of questions, here’s another one:
Let’s ask ourselves, ‘What do we really need?’
There is a certain amount of dehumanization involved in making large volumes of clothing. There is a craft with no creative input that is lost when using unskilled workers in the production line.
This shift in clothing consumption has changed in the last 20 years due to fast fashion (since 2000). The average person buys 60% more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago (Greenpeace 2017). Reducing consumption could shift the whole industry. This would be an enormous impact on the environment.
There needs to be a circular economy by reusing materials that would normally go to waste ending up in landfills. One company in Sweden, FILLIPA K, embraces this circular philosophy. It follows the four Rs: Reduce, Repair, Reuse and Recycle. They believe in ‘encouraging mindful consumption and lowering the impact of fashion on our planet’. FILLIPA K designs their garments to last so you can buy less and keep it longer. They believe in repairing their clothing and have garment care advice on their website. They also have a secondhand shop where you can return your gently worn items and get a discount on your next purchase. The company also recycles their waste and old clothing with a supplier in Italy that turns them into new recycled materials they can use in future collections.
Another sustainable company, PACT, that is based in Boulder, Colorado, encourages customers to send them their gently worn clothes for donations to someone else who would need them. It is called the Give Back Box Program. You can go their website and print a label for your donation box. They partner with five local charities and will send your donation to the nearest one in need. While you’re there, check out their line of comfy, cozy sustainable clothing. They offer organic cotton, fair trade certified factories, recycled packaging and the option to offset the carbon footprint of your shipment.
Take the Four steps to mindful consumption and make a difference:
- STEP 1 – REDUCE: We can reduce the amount of clothes we buy and take care to have more uses for each garment. Buying quality over quantity.
- STEP 2 – REPAIR: Try to see if you can repair your garment before tossing it. Invest in a sewing kit!
- STEP 3 – REUSE: Explore second-hand shops – there are many online options.
- STEP 4 – RECYCLE: Look for your local recycling center that will recycle textiles. Another option is to use your old clothes for DIY projects!
“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD” ~ GHANDI
Xoxo A Sustainable Love 💚