Fashion aftermath – clothing’s afterlife
We have developed a throwaway approach to fashion. With the ability to buy clothes at such a low cost, Does our cost per wear attitude only come into effect to justify something we don’t need? In a time where the cost of your lunch can equate to the cost of a dress, have you ever wondered what happens when we’re ready to bid a farewell to clothing? According to the EPA, disposable fashion is causing environmental chaos.
- 13.1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year. Out of this, only 2 million tonnes make it to being recycled or reused
- Every year it is estimated that 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced globally. In their lifetime, only a quarter of these will be recycled and three out of the four garments will end up in landfill or being incinerated
- The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association carried out research in 2014 to find out what happens our clothing once sent for recycling.
- 45% are reused as second hand clothing
- 5% are unusable
- 20% are reprocessed and
- 30% are used as industrial rags
So what can we do?
- Get to know a local seamstress and reinvent something you’re bored of.
- Swap with friends, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
- If it’s had it’s day look to recycling with a trusted source.
- Going forward be more conscious of what the fabric content of a purchase. Higher quality items will last longer, lessening the impact of fashion on the environment.
- Look at the label. When I need something new now I always think, if this were left in a bin, would it ever disintegrate without causing harm?