Zero Waste Series – Clothing

When you hear the words “fast food,” what comes to mind? Probably cheap, unhealthy and, perhaps, not good for the planet. Now, think about “fast fashion”, over the years, the ever changing fashion trends, meaning we want to spend less money on more things and, unfortunately, this has a devastating effect on the planet. There is a growing slow fashion movement, which means making sure clothes are made with care and with less impact on the planet. Fast clothing trends come with mass production that uses lots of chemicals and pesticides, and creates waste. The slow fashion movement is steadily gaining momentum, and I believe it is here to stay, as people are getting more into eco-friendly and ethical fashion trends.

Fast fashion is usually manufactured overseas in factories with unfair working conditions. So, not only does locally manufactured clothing in general assure a better work environment, but it also reduces our carbon footprint in textile and garment production and transportation. The slow fashion movement also looks at the importance of designing, creating and purchasing for quality and longevity.

I think it’s safe to say that, when I get dressed in the morning or when I buy new clothes, I don’t think too much about what effect these clothes have on the environment. I try to practice quality over quantity, so I have a minimal closet. As well, I buy used clothing, especially for the children. Until a couple of years ago, I did not know about textile production’s effect on our planet. The sad part is that most old clothes and textiles will end up in a landfill eventually.

Reusing and recycling old things, and preventing them from going into the landfill are great ways to reduce the use of raw materials. Research where you can donate textiles in your area, and keep them out of the landfill because ruined and stained textiles do not belong in landfills. Reselling clean and nice unwanted clothes, whilst making some money by selling them on is a fab way too. Repurposing items for cleaning is another way, there’s plenty of you tube videos out there to show what you can achieve.

I try to avoid impulse purchases now, it doesn’t always work but I ask myself ‘Do you really need that’? Setting a budget for your shopping trip is also a way that I try to not over buy. Finally I’ve also got into the habit of checking the label for washing instructions. I know it sounds bizarre but if it can’t be put in a simple dark, light or white wash the I won’t purchase as it’s more trouble to care for, than it’s worth.

Much love Rebecca

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