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This Is How We're Reducing Wardrobe Impact In 2020

by: Rosie Dalton | 8 months ago | Features

Image: Stella McCartney AW19 campaign. Image source.

Fashion has a direct impact on climate change. So much so that British MP and Environmental Audit Committee chairwoman Mary Creagh predicts fashion “will account for more than a quarter of our total impact on climate change by 2050" if current clothing consumption continues. So this is how we’re reducing our wardrobe impact in 2020.

1) Buy less
Follow Vivienne Westwood's mantra of buying less, choosing well, and making it last in 2020. “A staggering one-and-a-half-billion pairs of jeans and cotton trousers are sewn in Bangladesh every year," says Lucy Siegle in her book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? So perhaps we don't need ten pairs of jeans, just one really good pair.

2) Buy sustainable
Taking up a fairly small percentage of the world’s land (an estimated 2.4%) conventional cotton crops account for a disproportionately large percentage of the world’s toxic chemicals. And virgin plastics are strangling the planet. So check the materials tag and choose sustainable fabrics like organic cotton instead. This is especially important with products we wear close to our skin, like underwear and activewear.

3) Only buy from transparent brands
It’s important to understand not just where your clothes come from, but also who they were made by – and under what conditions. So only buy from brands that are openly transparent with information about their supply chain, or have fair work accreditations in place, like Fair Trade certification.

4) Extend the lifecycle of your clothing
"Doubling the useful life of clothing from one year to two years reduces emissions over the year by 24%,” according to Fashion Revolution. So keep your clothes in rotation. As Patagonia says, “the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer.” 

5) Recycle clothes properly
Australians discard 23kg of clothing per capita every year, which equals 6 tonnes of textiles being contributed to landfill every 10 minutes. That’s why recycling your clothes properly is crucial for the planet. Wearable pieces can be donated and you can investigate textile re-use facilities for those that can’t be worn anymore. 


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