Re-use, recycle. Make Do and mend. What is this all about? Why should it affect me?
I am alarmed after doing some research just how much clothing, some of it unworn, goes to landfill. We purchase a lot of cheaper clothes which soon lose their appeal and out they go. Our wardrobes are crammed with things we hardly ever. Or never wear.
When I was young I was taught to buy fewer "good" pieces which would last forever , and they actually do.so why do we do it? And more to the point how are we going to dispose of our unwanted fashion without damaging our planet even more.
Read this, taken from a statement from WRAP - textiles
Facts on clothes recycling
The UK could save £3billion per year from the cost of the resources we use to make and clean clothes if we changed the way we supplied, used and disposed of clothing. This would reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing consumption by 10-20% each. Being part of the Wrap 2020 Commitment we aim to reduce our own and help others to reduce their environmental footprints
350,000 tonnes, that’s around £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year
This equates to more than 30% of our unwanted clothing currently goes to landfill.
Watch this YouTube video
We Great Britons send 700,000 tonnes of clothing to recycling centres, textile banks, clothes collections and to charity each year. That’s enough to fill 459 Olympic-size swimming pools.57% of people say they recycle their textiles with 41% of people saying they’re not aware of recycling facilities .
Another alarming fact is that charity shops send a huge proportion of our old clothing to landfill , so that is not the answer! So. while you may donate your old clothing to charity, the truth is, even then, a whopping 84 percent of our clothing ends up in landfills. This is wrong, we feel good when we give to charity shops don't we. I often wondered what happened to old stock, this is shocking.
Large clothing manufacturers have waste fabric too. What happens to that? Do you know?
So, what is the answer? Obviously sewing is the long term answer, it is sustainable, Well, we could go into ethical and non ethical fabrics, but that is another blog!
When you can sew , even just a little bit , you can make things, wear things, sell things, it is a massive thing to give yourself the gift of sewing because with it you and your family can be clothed according to your finances. Duvet covers from charity shops can be repurposed into almost anything , for next to nothing. And yes, I have been that poor. Eating nothing but baked beans for weeks on end, eventually getting a job as a school dinner lady so myself and my son could have a free hot meal every day. I was so glad that I could make clothes and I became popular at school for being able to rustle up costumes for school plays out of just an old sheet. So, I could not only make some of our clothes, (coats and dressing gowns were favourites then,) I could also do odd jobs for cash, shortening curtains, knitting. Anything.
So, it helped me all those years ago, now I can pass this knowledge on to you and together we can help reduce waste ,and that in turn will help our planet for generations to come.
What to do with old clothes?
The obvious thing is to transform and upcycle them into something new. ... I have been altering dresses to make tops and altering garments to fit better, and altering necklines.Another great idea is to make dolls clothes , especially lovely if you have garments which mean a lot
We all need shopping bags and they can easily be made from almost anything. If you do nothing else make shopping bags!
I gave my evening gowns and heels ( I prefer trainers these days) to a group supplying girls with prom outfits. Similarly I give coats and so on to a charity which gives them to people in need.
You could pass on your clothes to others or have a swop evening where you and your friends have fun exchanging garments. I went to one of those and exchanged some dresses I had grown tired of for other clothes. We all ended up with new clothes for nothing! And no waste.
There are apps such as Vinted, Ebay and local free sites on Facebook. Can you think of any more?
What about craft supplies including fabric.?