I heard a scary fact recently, clothing is the 4th contributor to global warming after transport, energy and food. What the F? How is that possible? I can understand the other sectors being top offenders, we all constantly use energy, we need food everyday and we all know how bad diesel cars and flying is for the planet. But clothes, I don’t feel like that can be justified.
The good news is that a lot of fashion brands are jumping on board with the Green Is The New Black trend. It’s cool to be green, and who more than the fashion industry want to be cool? And kindly illustrating my point: the first Green Carpet fashion awards happened in September 2017.
There is still a long way to go however. There are many ways to tackle the disastrous effects that the clothing industry is having on the planet. Seeing the ecological fabrics that are being developed is fascinating, but realistically, it doesn’t matter how green a dress is. If you will only wear it once and then keep it in your wardrobe forever, it is still a massive waste of energy and resources.
I think as consumers we must accept at least some of the responsibility, and change our habits. It is unnecessary to own twenty pairs of jeans. How many different types of jeans can there be? How many of those do you really wear? The buzz term “capsule wardrobe” has been thrown around in recent years, but it makes a lot of sense. If I own less items, but I know they are good quality and fit me well, not only do I help save the planet, but I save precious snooze time in the morning when picking what to wear.
Clothing companies also need to take more responsibility. Many are already getting on board with alternative materials like Stella McCartney, and encouraging us to close the loop and recycle our fabrics in their shops, like H&M. But ultimately they have a profit to make. And to do that, they are still happy to bombard us with messages of how our lives are incomplete without this latest trend. The reality is, we simply can’t keep producing this volume of garments.
I think it’s brilliant that a lot of fashion icons are championing greener brands, but really, the greenest thing they could do is actually wear the same thing twice, and encourage others to do the same. If a dress is so beautiful, only wearing it once is a crime anyway.
If you want to find out more, this BBC radio programme has great insight. Costing The Earth – The Future Of Fashion