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Love your Clothes

What Can I Do? Love your Clothes

We all have clothes in our wardrobe that we don't wear anymore.

In fact, it is estimated that we Brits have £30 billion worth of unworn clothes in our closets, much of which has not been worn in the last year or still has its labels in. 

Despite this, a lot of clothes still ends up in our bins. This is not only having an impact on our planet, but also our wallets.

Here are our top tips on how to help reduce this:

What you can do

Do I really need it?

When buying a new item of clothing, ask yourself the following questions:
'Do I really need this?' 
'Do I already own something similar?'
'How much will I wear this item?'

 

Shopping second hand

Charity shops, Depop, Vinted, Ebay and Facebook market place are all great places to search for second hand fashion. 

By buying secondhand, instead of brand new, you can help extend the lifetime of the garments. If used clothing for just 9 months longer (to an average life of around 3 years), this would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30%. 

 

Avoiding fast fashion

The rise in fast fashion has caused a rise in the amount of clothes we throw away, this has now reached over 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year in the UK. 

Fast Fashion is the model most clothing manufacturers use, where their clothes are produced at a cheap and rapid pace. This means that clothes can be sold at lower prices, however they are usually of lower quality.

We know that it is not always possible to cut down on fast fashion but starting small can make a huge difference! Why not start by reading the care and repair tips below to make your clothes last longer. 

Labels

Always look at the labels on your items of clothing to find the best way to wash and care for your clothes. These instructions help make your clothes last the longest they can.

Read Love your clothes guide to symbols here

 

Do basic repairs and alterations

You don't have to be a sewing expert to do some easy repairs on your clothes.

You also don't need to have a fancy sewing machine, a simple thread and needles will do for basic repairs.

Here are some easy video repair guides from Love Your Clothes:

Replacing a button 

Repairing a ripped pocket 

When you no longer need an item of clothing, for whatever reason, consider passing it on to friends and family instead of letting sit at the back of your wardrobe. 

You can also donate it to charity. 

 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, and lockdown closures of charity shops, they may be overwhelmed with stock. Please contact the shop before donating. DO NOT leave bags of clothes outside closed charity shops as they cannot be donated. 

 

You can also sell your clothes online through websites such as Depop, Vinted, Facebook marketplace and Ebay.

 

If your clothes are in poor condition and no longer wearable, make sure they are recycled at Household Waste Recycling Centres or clothes banks. 

Less than 1% of all materials in clothes are recycled into new garments so make sure that they don't go in your general waste bin.

Did you know?

To make a single pair of jeans- an estimated 20,000 litres of water is needed!

The impact of our clothes

The fashion industry is ranked fourth in terms of its negative environmental impact - just below housing, transport, and food.

It takes a lot of resources to grow, manufacture, transport and sell items of clothing, especially fast fashion garments which are most likely to end up in the bin. 

To make a single pair of denim jeans an estimated 20,000 litres of water is needed for growing the cotton, dyeing, making and transporting the jeans. 

Clothes are also a major contributor to the problem of plastic in the ocean. It has been estimated that around half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers shed during the washing of synthetic textiles, such as polyester, nylon or acrylic, end up in the ocean annually.

It is estimated that the global fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions. This is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Making just one pair of jeans produces 33.4kg of CO₂, an amount equivalent to driving 69 miles.

Clothes going to landfill also have an impact on our climate as methane is produced from the break down of materials. 

By reducing our clothes waste we are also saving money. 

More than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing ends up in landfill every year - with an estimated value of £140 million.

It is also estimated that there is a staggering £30 billion worth of unused clothing sitting in our wardrobes nationwide.

 

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