Passion fashion

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Well dressed?

We all like to be seen wearing the right thing, regardless of the fashion, style or sub culture we associate with. 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.



For 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.

The average piece of clothing is worn 7 times. So if you buy fewer pieces, that you'll enjoy wearing more, you can spend the extra money on clothing that pays people in a fairer manner.

For planet

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 – 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.

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.

A polyester shirt has almost double the carbon footprint of a cotton shirt - so buy natural (and organic) where you can. The textile industry uses huge amounts of water. It takes up to 2,720 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt – 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.

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.


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

  1. Clothes swap: find or host a swapping party - whether at work, school, or home. Everyone goes home with a revived wardrobe and full wallets. Check out these handy tips on hosting a swap party.
  2. Circular clothes: let your wardrobe join the circular economy with Mud Jeans
  3. Long lasting clothes: the most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own, so check out these slow fashion tips for keeping your garments in fantastic shape, forever (almost).
  4. Clothes hire: the market for fashion rental is ballooning - see this list of top 10 UK clothes hire sites. Renting clothes a lot can increase your carbon footprint, through frequent deliveries and dry cleaning, so save it for special occasions and pick another suggestion from this list in the meantime.
  5. Charity shop: take a mooch around your local charity shop, you might just be in for a surprise. Find them in this charity shop listing.
  6. Trade your wares: get some cash for your clothes through apps like Vinted where you can sell and swap unwanted clothes. Brilliant!
  7. Buy to last: if you really love buying something new, make sure it’s made to last, and under fair working conditions. If it’s cotton, always make it organic cotton. Have a look for sustainable and ethical clothing brands.