This week's New Scientist leads with a strongly worded critical editorial about the fashion industry. It starts with:
"FOR an industry that supposedly thrives on creativity, fashion has been appallingly slow to innovate to reduce its distinctly uncool environmental footprint.
On all three fronts in the planetary crisis – climate change, nature loss and waste – manufacturers and retailers of textiles and clothing could, and must, do better. Their carbon emissions are enormous, thirst for raw materials unsustainable and waste management systems rubbish. As just one example, every year we send 350,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill in the UK."
and goes on to say consumers must
"... shoulder a large portion of the blame, gladly stuffing our wardrobes with cheap, shoddy and unsustainably manufactured garments, destined to be worn a few times and then unceremoniously dumped. Most people on Earth participate in this grotesquely wasteful cycle, helping to make clothing one of the most environmentally destructive industries."
The magazine points out that we have a lot of influence:
"If patterns of demand change, such as shifting to brands that run buy-back schemes for unwanted clothing, the industry will respond. More powerfully, we can simply choose to wear our clothes for longer. Keeping a garment for an extra year can cut its environmental footprint by 30 per cent.
That, of course, requires a shift in our mindsets. But such things can and do happen. A few years ago, plant-based diets were the choice of the unconventional few. Now they are commonplace. We need the same revolution to happen when it comes to clothing choices. Here’s to a make-do-and-mend mindset becoming mainstream – and even fashionable."
Loved reading this in the week that Shaftesbury's monthly sustainable fairtrade & vintage clothing market and Repair Revolution Cafe are raising their profile!