Did you know that only only 4% of cotton used to make new clothes is sustainable? It also takes a massive 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1kg. With an ever growing fashion industry, the impact on our environment is worrying.
Aside from cottons, synthetic garments that line the High Street are derived from oil, depleting our current resources. There are also some more hidden ways that non sustainable fashion can negatively impact the environment, from the chemicals used to make clothes getting into the eco system and harming wildlife, to high carbon emissions when shipping clothing from manufacturing countries to retailing countries. This can even be an ethical issue, with plenty of concern surrounding the working conditions and pay for those involved in High Street clothing manufacturing.
If you’ve considered transforming your wardrobe into one which is more eco friendly, you’ll know the information is overwhelming. Some people even assume that the only way to go about it is to start remodelling old plastic bags into shorts, or to even go the whole way and adopt naturism! But sustainable, eco fashion is versatile, and can be adapted to suit your budget, lifestyle, and personal fashion tastes.
While it is true that there has been an increase in sustainable fashion retailers manufacturing and selling lovely, sustainable garments, these can be pricey. And after all, the best kind of eco living is one which is also frugal. With this considered, a gander around your local charity shops can open up a whole new world to you. You’ll probably be surprised at the amount of pre loved high street brands that end up there.
If this isn’t to your taste, upcycling is a fantastic way to customise either your current clothes, or clothes bought from a charity shop. You don’t even have to be a dab hand at sewing – sticking a few sparkly gems on a plain top is a great way to jazz up a second hand outfit without breaking the bank.
Importantly, eco fashion extends to the disposing of clothes. If you don’t donate or pass them on to someone else, many retailers will take your old textiles. H&M, for example, offers you a voucher for every bag of textiles you take to them!
With the possibilities of adapting your lifestyle to incorporate eco fashion seemingly being endless, it’s hard to think of a reason not to give it a go. Plus, everyone’s a winner – the environment, wildlife, and you.
Laura is a soon-to-be psychology student who loves animals, wildlife and natural beauty. Based in Manchester, she is currently taking a GAP year to explore the world before studying.