Did you know that the clothing industry is one of the world's biggest contributors to climate change? And it doesn't have to stay this way. Fortunately, there are some simple things we can all do starting right now- whether by donating your gently used clothes or opting for sustainable and environmentally friendly goods. With these five easy tips below, let’s get started.
1. Recycle old clothing by donating to your local thrift store or selling them online. You can even give away clothes you don't wear anymore on Facebook groups like the Marketplace, for example! This is an extremely rewarding experience and will go long way in helping communities around the world who are less fortunate than us.
2. Try using biodegradable soaps when washing your clothes which will help reduce water pollution at wastewater treatment plants that process our dirty laundry. The next time you're tempted to throw something into landfill, think about this: It takes 500 years for natural fibers such as cotton to decompose naturally whereas synthetic fabrics may take up to 1000 years meaning whatever we throw out now will be around for the next millenium.
3. Look out for clothing made from recycled plastic bottles like Adidas' ocean sneakers! The production of polyester uses around 60 million barrels of crude oil every year, which is enough to fuel one million cars annually and emits two-thirds more greenhouse gases than other textiles. Now that's quite a lot considering there are only 90 million cars in all of Australia alone (data taken from 2016).
4. Opt for organic cotton products over conventional ones where possible as they use almost 50% less water during farming stages, require no pesticide treatments resulting in better soil health & less harm on wildlife such as bees leading to higher biodiversity rates. It also doesn't contain any genetically modified organisms so you're supporting sustainable agriculture too!
5. Support brands with transparent and ethical supply chains. A few examples include Patagonia, Everlane and Rapanui who all have a deep commitment to the environment, workers' rights and social justice.
We can all do our bit to help make a difference in the world we live in - it doesn't take much effort at all! So what are you waiting for? Get started today.