Don’t buy new clothes unless you really, really need them.
“Buy less, choose well.”
At this point, many of you might be wondering what does buying new clothes has to do with being a good earthling. Well, quite a lot. Over the past few years “old” clothes, the clothes we often discard too fast became quite a problem. Clothes represent a large portion of world’s waste.
Bellow, we’ve prepared some concerning facts that will help you see how big of a problem this actually is. We’ll also give you a couple of suggestions on how you can help us reduce clothes waste.
Facts about clothes
- The average American throws out 82 pounds of clothes every year.
- The world textile and clothing industry reached just shy of $2,560 trillion in 2010.
- Average American household spends over $1,700 on footwear, apparel and related products and services each year.
- Millions of tons of unused fabric go to waste each year when dyed the wrong color.
- A single mill in China can use over 200 tons of water per one ton of fabric it dyes.
- Workers in apparel manufacturing industry are being exploited to an unimaginable extent.
- 85 % of world’s textiles end up in a landfill.
- Clothes are the second largest source of pollution, after oil.
What is the leading cause of the problem?
The route of the problem is the ultra fast-changing trends. According to data regarding clothes production, retailers are making clothes faster than ever to keep up with seasonal trends. As such, clothes go out of style very fast and people discard them to buy new ones that just came in style. It’s up to us to stand against fashion industry!
Moreover, most of the modern clothes are made in massive production since they want to reduce the production costs as much as possible. Consequently, the quality of clothes is highly reduced. As the result, many clothes are way less durable and get worn out much faster.
How to reduce clothes waste?
One of the possible solutions is to give/sell your old clothes to second-hand stores. However, many of those are already full of clothes that people simply don’t want to buy. That way second-hand stores have to discard them to make room for clothes coming in every day. Bottom line, second-hand stores simply can not keep up with the pace of ultra fast changing seasonal trends.
You can also donate clothes. Click on the link, it will take you to one of our previous posts, where we discuss clothes donating into details. Even though donating clothes is a very good option, there are limits to how much clothes can organizations accept.
The best thing we can all do is to rethink our way of buying clothes. As first, we must buy less, way less. Secondly, we must say no to low-quality clothing. Unfortunately, for an average buyer, the price is the only indication of the quality. However, you must be aware that a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality and more lasting product. Since it can be hard to pinpoint the quality of the clothes you must focus on the first suggestion – buy less.
Do the best you can to feel happy and content with the clothes you already own. Also, don’t discard clothes with small damages, such as zip dysfunction or a missing button. Many of those can be easily fixed. There are tailors who do that kind of repairs, or you can always learn to fix those yourself. All you need is a home sewing kit.
Think outside the box
You should also start thinking outside the box. There are many ways to use old, even partly damaged clothes to turn them into useful and good looking things. Like this old-shirt-into-a-bag transformation:
We are sure you’ve all heard of “Clothes make the man” quote, but we like this one better:
“If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies … It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better that the meat wrapped inside it.”
Buy fewer clothes.
Buy clothes of higher quality.
Repair small damages on your clothes – buy a home sewing kit.
Have a nice week.