17th January 2023
Clothes and the fashion industry contributes about 10% of all global carbon emissions. These stem from the production of synthetic materials as well as the large footprint of growing cotton; shipping and manufacturing; and the trend towards fast fashion. People buy more clothes than ever but wear them less often. Barely worn clothes plus a large number of unworn clothes (those that have overnight become unfashionable) end up in landfill. With cheaply made clothes, replacement is cheaper than repair. As clothes are often made from a mixture of different material types, recycling is not straightforward and can be expensive.
But change can and is happening. Buying clothes that are made to last, maintaining and repairing clothes, rewearing or swopping clothes, buying from vintage and second hand sources, altering and adapting clothes to new circumstance, all helps to reduce the carbon – and environmental- footprint of what we wear.
I still wear a skirt that was my mother’s, a kilt which was second hand when I had it as a child, and my wedding dress (for dances not weddings!)
For more information –