Fashion plays a huge part in our culture. The industry is exciting and hugely powerful – stretching way beyond the things we wear and touching so many parts of our lives. It also has a massive environmental impact.
As consumers, we’re unlikely to be aware of the carbon or water footprint of that new pair of jeans, but make no mistake, the clothes we wear are resource intensive. Before they reach us the manufacturing process uses huge amounts of raw materials, water and energy.
One of the most surprising things we found out about clothing is the impact of keeping clothes in use for longer. Simply by extending the average active life of clothing by an extra nine months, we could reduce the water, carbon and waste impacts by between 20%-30%. It’s the single biggest thing we can do to. And it’s pretty easy:
· Love to look good: Buy smart by choosing clothes that will last longer, are pre-owned or integrate easy care technologies that cut back on your ‘in-use’ impacts;
· Love a fresh look: Keep your clothes in tip-top condition by washing right and breathe new life into existing clothes through accessories, repair, alteration and personalisation.
· Love a new life: Ensure unwanted clothes are re-used or clothes unsuitable for re-use are recycled.
By tapping into fashion’s ability to inspire people, Love Your Clothes aims to inspire people to think differently about the clothes they own, the clothes that are sat unused in their wardrobes and the clothes they’re about throw away. Join the conversation @loveyourclothes and give us your own tops tips on keeping clothes in use for longer at www.loveyourclothes.org.uk
Facts and figures from Valuing our Clothes, WRAP, 2012