World Environment Day – Easy fashion actions to make the world a better place
words by Clotilde Moullec
June 4, 2021
World environment day is just around the corner. A day created by the United Nations, World Environment Day encourages awareness and action for the environment. The goal of this movement is to halt or reverse climate change and global ecosystem degradation.
One of the ways we can all make sure we are being mindful and slowing down climate change is by making responsible fashion choices. So today, we wanted to give you some ideas for actions you can take at your scale in the next few weeks, to make sure you are being mindful of the environment through fashion.
Let’s get into it!
- Make your clothes last as long as possible through washing
This one’s easy! Just take extra good care of your clothes. Extending the life of clothes by an extra nine months of active use would reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints by around 20–30% each, a plus for the planet.
So make sure not to wash your clothes too much. Of course, if you see a stain or the clothes smell bad, do wash. But make sure to check the item tags to see what the best way to clean the item is. For instance, cashmere is best washed by hand with a mild detergent.
- Learn to repair your clothing
Go through any scraps of fabric you have. Could anything work to create a fun patch on a t-shirt? A pair of jeans? Use tutorials to learn about the different creative ways you can upcycle clothes that have holes, or that are simply looking a bit tired.
For easy repair techniques like attaching a button to a blazer or essential mending skills, the Empower Your Wardrobe section in the Save Your Wardrobe app is the perfect place to go. You’ll have all the knowledge you need to make sure a small rip can’t stop you.
- Know where to recycle fabrics
Talking about scraps of fabric, these can often not be resold or donated due to their condition. Recycling programs enable you to send your clothes to them, such as Recycle Now which enables you to send in your unusable textiles and clothes for them to be recycled.
You can send any type of fabrics or unusable clothing items, whether denim, wool or cashmere, just make sure they are well washed before sending them in. The organisation even has a map of the places in the UK where you can recycle your clothes and fabrics.
- Donate or sell your unwanted clothes
We’ve all donated a massive bag of clothes to the closest charity, not really looking into where the clothes would be sent. However, a lot of the clothes that are donated to charities are sent to the global south to be resold there. If these clothes aren’t sold, they then pile up in landfill, polluting the soil and the waterways.
So why not resell or donate these clothes responsibly? Today, there are many reselling applications such as Vinted, Depop and more that will enable you to resell your clothes. If you want to donate money to charity while making a bit of money yourself, you can also donate to our service partner Thrift+, who come pick up your unwanted clothes and resell them for you. If your clothes sell, part of the proceeds go to charity.
- Change the way you shop
When lusting over a piece of clothes, try to imagine yourself wearing it. Will you get a lot of wear out of it? Do you actually need it? If that is a yes, make sure you are buying responsibly. This could be buying secondhand, renting or buying through sustainable brands.
Another easy step to take when shopping is to take sustainable shopping one step further by also shopping local. We won’t go into too much detail since we wrote a whole blog about it. Check it out to learn how to shop sustainably, locally and to get inspiration with some great UK-produced brands.