We are constantly bombarded with fashion, from sitting at home on the internet to out and about at the shops. We see images of beautiful people looking amazing in their brand new jeans and a shirt, ready to rock the day! Then if we are conscious about spending, there is always a sale for us to take advantage of. From festive holidays through to just a business wanting to remove stock.
It can be tiring, and with this need to stay fashionable for our peers we end up spending much more money on our wardrobe than we otherwise would. Though apart from our bank account screaming for us to stop, what are the environmental impacts of fast fashion?
1. Water Consumption
2 billion pairs of jeans are produced every year, and a typical pair takes 7,000 litres of water to produce. For a t-shirt, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make just one – that’s the amount of water an average person drinks over the course of 900 days!
2. Clothes Wasted
80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide, and after its short lifespan, three out of four garments will end up in landfills or be incinerated. Only a quarter will be recycled.
In Australia, where we now send 85% of the textiles we buy to landfill every year. In fact, Australia is the second-largest consumer of new textiles after the US, averaging 27 kilograms of new textiles per annum. We buy it, wear it once or twice, get sick of it—or realise it’s gone out of fashion—and bin it only to begin the cycle all over again.
3. Poor Working Conditions
Fierce global competition in the garment industry translates into poor working conditions for many labourers in developing nations.
Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop. Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides — more than 10 per cent of the world’s pesticides and nearly 25 per cent of the world’s insecticides.
Even the simple act of washing synthetic clothes is harmful—according to a 2011 study, a single synthetic garment can generate more than 1900 microplastic fibres in one washing machine cycle.
So what can you do now?
1. Mix and Match within your own wardrobe
2. Swap with family/friends
3. Cut up old shirts into rags/cloths to be used around the home
4. Choose quality over quantity so you avoid synthetic fabrics
5. Recycle or donate clothing
7. Spread the word that cheap clothing is not worth it
If you are in the Hunter Valley, 16 March 2019, we are hosting a Clothes Swap Event at Singleton Girl Guides Hall, York Street.
More information here
If you want to host your own clothes swap, contact us and we will send your very own Swap Kit to make the process SUPER EASY!