Fashion Shouldn’t Cost The Earth

Fashion is great. It makes us feel good, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of destroying the earth. The way we make, use and dispose of our clothes all has an environmental impact. For #GlobalGoaloftheMonth in March 2021, #TeamClarity want to share how we can create a positive impact on the planet just by tweaking the way we shop! We don’t have to move the earth to change the earth. Fashion shouldn’t cost the Earth.

Why is #Goal12 – Responsible Consumption and Production so important?

Some shocking statistics about the impact of fashion on our environment:

  • Only 20% of garments are recycled, with 80% ending up in a landfill
  • 13 million tonnes of textile waste is created each year (95% of which could be reused or recycled)
  • A simple t-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water to make (which equals three years of drinking water)

Did you know that fashion is one of the few industries that intersects across all 17 Global Goals?
From #Goal12 – Responsible Consumption and Production to #Goal8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, #Goal13 – Climate Action and even #Goal10 – Reduced Inequalities.

In 2021, we currently have enough clothing for the next six generations!

Here are a few ways you can be more sustainable when shopping:

  • Do some research and buy from companies you know have more sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.
  • Buy vintage, second-hand or from brans that remake unwanted clothing whenever you can.
  • Alter pieces you already own. There are so many different ways you can repurpose your clothing. Creatively remake them into different items yourself, have a professional alter them using Sojo or a local seamstress, hire designers to remake them on websites like Reture or, simply use old t-shirts for cleaning cloths!
  • Donate your unwanted clothes.
  • Swap and share before you buy new. There are lots of ways to rent amazing clothes now to save buying it new and swapping with others to keep all our wardrobes moving and being worn.
  • Care for your clothes; wash at lower temperatures, split up your colours, use gentle washing powder.
  • Use an eco-bag for shopping

As new pieces come into our closet every year, other clothing items become disposable. Cheap items and new styles are taking a toll on the environment. The energy and toxins used in clothes also has a terrible impact on the environment by degrading our soil, polluting our air and harming our health. There are small actions we can all take to help the planet.

When buying clothes;

  • Choose clothes that have been sustainably produced
  • Buy clothes that are made locally by ethical labels
  • Look for organic cotton
  • Buy clothes that will last for years instead of months
  • Embrace a more minimalist lifestyle

Did you know?

Our clothes can release up to 700,000 microfibres in a single wash, at this rate 22 million tonnes of microfibres will have entered our oceans by 2050.

Microfibres are extremely harmful to #Goal14 – Life Below Water ecosystems. Fish and other small marine creatures swallow them by mistake, contaminating the whole ocean food chain and ending up our plate.

Why is reusing clothing so important?

  1. Reusing clothing reduces the carbon footprint
  2. The resources used to make the garment are reused rather than wasted
  3. A simple t-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water to make (which equals three years of drinking water). So by reusing the materials, we are valuing these resources!
  4. Unless landfills are being properly managed, clothing can take decades to biodegrade (watch War on Waste by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for more insights into landfills – he digs up a school dress and a newspaper from an unmanned landfill in the 80s – neither of which have biodegraded)
  5. The average item in a UK wardrobe has a 2.5 year life span, which isn’t very long in relation to the resources used to produce it!

Whilst #TeamClarity have used #GlobalGoaloftheMonth to challenge the Clarity Community in the past – this month we encourage you to simply wise up to the waste you’re producing whilst shopping. As always, we have updated the projects on our B1G1 profile to support our monthly goal, so if you would like to give a little extra, please do take a look.


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