Passion fashion

Dress yourself sustainably

Well dressed?

We all like to be seen wearing the right thing, whether we follow the 80's chic or office geek style. But do we know what we're really wearing?

When you look into the throwaway culture of 'fast fashion' that has hit our streets, it's clear that we're bearing a lot more on our shoulders than just our latest shrug. Make the pledge to join the fashion revolution, dressing yourself in a way that doesn't come at a cost to people and planet

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

People

We've all heard of sweatshops. You may not have seen one, but chances are you've worn their produce. With stylishly embroidered tops costing as little as £6, there’s little chance of a fair wage being earned by all involved in its making.

Child labour and worker rights have been the focus of campaigns for decades, and thankfully they're beginning to pay off. The tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013 helped to re-ignite this discussion. But it's pretty difficult for retailers to monitor a chain of subcontractors and suppliers all around the world, so we need to keep the pressure on as both consumers and campaigners.

Garment workers typically earn between 1-3% of the retail price of an item of clothing, so doubling their wages would only add a few pence to the final price of your shirt.8

7 times

is how often the average item of clothing is worn10

Landfill

Landfill space is in short supply, they're filling up fast and none of us wants a new one on our doorstep. The advent of 'fast fashion' has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of clothes sent to the landfill – on average, each of us now throws 36kg of clothes in the bin each year 9 – the same as 260 t-shirts.

Charities sell un-wearable clothes as stuffing and rags, so even if that t-shirt has faded, stained and ripped, it’s still got life before landfill.

Climate change

Energy is used in every stage of clothes production, from farming the cotton to transporting the clothes to your wardrobe – with dying, cutting, sewing and packaging in between. As a result, the fashion industry was responsible for 1,715 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2015, about 5.4% of global emissions.6

A polyester shirt has almost double the carbon footprint of a cotton shirt - so buy natural (and organic) where you can.

7:1

7 kgCO2 are released for every kg of cotton produced.1

285

showers worth of water are used to make a single pair of jeans! 7

Water

The textile industry uses huge amounts of water. It takes up to 2,720 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt2 – that's about the amount of water that an average person drinks over 3 years!

Increasing demand for virgin clothes caused by our 'throwaway fashion' culture has added pressure to the pressing issue of water scarcity. Intensive cotton farming in Kazakhstan has reduced the Aral Sea to one-tenth of its original volume in just a few decades.3

Pollution

Wildlife and ecosystems don’t escape the adverse effects of the industry either; the synthetic fibre industry and the intensive use of pesticides and insecticides in cotton farming mean that toxic compounds find their way into the water systems.

The apparel industry doesn’t only impact water systems, but the atmosphere as well. The textile industry is now ranked as the fifth most polluting industry.5

Money

The average Brit spends £780 a year on clothes.5 By buying better-made, longer-lasting clothes you could save yourself a lot of money - even if it means spending a little more upfront.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Passion fashion' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms

12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

How

The Love Your Clothes site is a wealth of information, have a browse. Here our our own top three tips:

1. Clothes swap: find or host a swapping party - whether at work, school, or home - invite your friends over and ask them to bring a lovely but unloved piece of clothing so that someone else can fall in love with it. Everyone goes home with a revived wardrobe and full wallets. Check out these handy tips on hosting a swap party.

2. Clothing subscriptions: Get unlimited style on rotation through companies like Wear the Walk (UK) or Rent the Runway (USA), who enable you to rent a number of top-end outfits a month, return them and swap for fresh new seasonal styles.

3. Charity shop: Take a gander around your local charity shop, you might just be in for a surprise. Check out where they are through this charity shop listing.

4. Trade your wares: If you'd rather get some cash for your clothes, check out the Vinted app - a great online app that lets you sell and swap unwanted clothes. Brilliant!

5. Buy to last: If you really can’t resist buying something new, make sure it’s made to last, and under fair working conditions. And if it’s cotton, make it organic cotton. Have a look at People Tree for sustainable and ethical clothing.

Success Stories

501

Pledges
in total

12,416kg

CO2
pledged

I have absolutely loved freeing myself from the drudge of continually looking for the next new item of clothing to wear. If I really think I need something, now I look in charity shops in town, or for used items on eBay. Any clothes I'm not wearing any more go into the charity collection in the village to raise money for the Guides. If the clothes can't be sold, they are sent to a center where the fibres are collected and recycled into new items.

I have only been buying my clothes from ethically or sustainably made stores (Howies, Hiut, Finisterre, etc) and have been fixing my clothes as they get worn out.

Not 100%....but did hire a suit for an occasion rather than buying.

Happy to stick to this resolution!!! It was easier than expected :)

Made me think a lot more about what I buy and I only bought a couple of items that I needed and would last a long time. Sent all unused clothes to charity.

I look like the inside of my local Oxfam now!

As well as being more sustainable and ethical this pledge has helped me save money and value what I already have more.

I found this pledge quite hard but I definitely managed to cut down on my clothes shopping and it always makes me think twice before buying anything. I have also looked into different alternatives like charity shops and online sustainable sites.

This was an interesting experience as I really thought about what I was going to purchase and how much I was willing to spend. I bought two items from sustainable clothing lines both more expensive than I would usually pay but both designed to last years rather than months. Will definitely continue with this trend.

I buy mostly from charity shops now: fun and save!

Sadly had to buy some shoes when a boot managed to stray from my gym bag otherwise didn't buy a stitch! Would definitely do more actions like this.

It was really great not to buy any clothes for a couple of months and just wear what I already have!

This was fun! I did a clothes swap with my friend and I found some great bits from local charity shops. I will be buying underwear from Ethical Superstore this month. Definitely plan to continue this!

Completely changed my outlook on buying new clothes. Only exception being pants and socks!!! Really difficult to buy those second hand (and not very hygienic!) but overall will not be buying new clothes. Even as gifts! been gifting unwanted clothes to friends and family and donated 4 bags of clothes to charity! Now for my next challenge....

It was really good fun to have a challenge like this - my bank balance loved it too!I have started to think more about ethical sources for fashion, including how, for example, cottons are grown and manufactured.

It was a great test for myself and I learnt that I don't have to buy clothes as often as I previously had and I saved lots of money too! :-)

Definitely continuing on with this one. I've already noticed a change in how I view the retail environment.

References

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