In the most recent (2018) customer insight survey, we found that only 34 percent of residents recycle their textiles in the green box at the kerbside. This has reduced from 2015 when 45 percent of textiles were recycled in the green box. These findings support national trends, as residents prefer to reuse, sell, or donate clothing to charity.
Increasingly we are buying more clothes, buying cheaper clothes, and then discarding them after only a few wears. On average, our fast fashion items are used for less than a year before we dispose of them.
Synthetic textiles such as nylon and polyester also contribute to the global plastic problem as they produce small fragments of plastic known as microfibres. These detach from our textiles in the wash and make their way into our water courses which can cause problems for wildlife that mistake them for food.
Also, the production of non-organic cotton requires massive amounts of water, pesticides, and chemical dye which all impact on our environment. Therefore, by choosing natural fibres instead of synthetic, you can help reduce the amount of plastic microfibres released into our environment.
Looking after your clothes
Consumers have a big role to play in reducing the environmental impacts of clothing. The clothing industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, waste, and pollution, often coming with poor working conditions in other countries.
A few simple steps can lead you in the right direction:
- using your clothes for longer it is the best way to reduce their environmental impact
- look for natural and hard-wearing textiles with quality guarantees
- invest in the classic ‘forever’ pieces to ensure you get the most from what you wear
- attend a clothes swap or upcycle your old garments to give them a new lease of life
Repurposing old clothes
Creating new outfits from pre-loved garments can not only save you money but also give you a sense of style that nobody else can match.
Choosing to alter and upcycle clothes instead of throwing them away is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you are looking for a fresh new look, save your money and the planet you can find more information on the Love Your Clothes website.