£12.5 billion pounds worth of clothing is binned every year.
300,000 tonnes of it.
A recent study has shown that women wear clothes approximately 7 times before throwing them away. Maybe some of these are occasion outfits? I know myself I have at least two dresses which I’ve only worn a couple of times (I blame this on my lack of fancy occasions to attend). However, shockingly, it’s mainly everyday clothing which is ditched. T-shirts, trousers, shirts and jackets, all part of a macro trend that’s passed.
Over 30 pairs of hands make each garment. A pattern cutter has created the shapes, a seamstress has stitched your seams and a quality assistant has checked for loose threads. Add another 20 pair of hands if you include the Designers and the Garment Technologist, the Buyers and the Merchandiser’s.
When the designer has developed, stitched and designed the range, they send over a tech pack to the factory (a tech pack is all the information the factory needs to make the garments), If the garment includes a slogan or an illustration, they include a file called ‘artwork’.
So, I ask the question, is fashion art? With all the talented people making these clothes, can we class it as art? Is it purely because there’s so much of it around that we don’t call it art? Either way, this clothing/art/fashion is worth more than just 7 wears.
Maybe you do the good thing and take them to a clothes swap, or donate them to a charity shop. Sadly, majority of our unused clothing gets dumped into landfill.
Instead of dumping it into the bin, let’s repair and re-use!
One of the most effective men’s of reducing clothing’s environmental footprint, is simply increasing its lifetime. Extending the life of clothing by as little as extra nine months could reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20–30% each.
Also, buying second hand clothing instead of fast-fashion, unsustainable clothing could deliver environmental benefits, cutting carbon emissions per tonne of clothing by 3% and water use by 4% water, WRAP estimates, if it extends garment life by 50%.
And by choosing sustainably manufactured clothing over cheap fast fashion, you are voting with your wallet for a better fashion future.
What are we doing about this problem? We are new but we are working on a project to close the gap of the circular economy. We would like to start a repair workshop. We’re looking for a charity organisation to link up with our charity to help us do it. We can train and employ people to give old clothes a new life. To create art.
If you’d like to get involved, advice or give feedback, please do get in touch.