I was shocked to learn that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. In the USA alone, the average person throws away 37 kg of clothes every year, 85% of which is dumped into landfills or burnt.
According to Ocean Clean Wash more than 60% of our clothes consist of synthetic materials and every time we wash our (almost new) synthetic clothes, an average of 9 million microfibers are released into the waste water. If you consider that the most fibers are released during the first four to five washes then second hand clothing makes a lot of environmental sense.
#SecondHandSeptember is a 30-day campaign run by Oxfam encouraging people across the UK to stop buying new clothes for the month in a bid to curb our fast fashion habits.
Slow clothing is a philosophy. It is a way of thinking about, choosing and wearing clothes to ensure they bring meaning, value and joy to every day.– Jane Milburn –
What can you do during Second Hand September?
- Search for thrift stores in your area, or organize a ‘Pre-loved’ clothes market in your community.
- Doing a clothes swap with friends can be really interesting (and a bonus for your wardrobe especially if you have stylish friends).
- Repair your clothes instead of throwing them out.
- Do a wardrobe audit. Sort through your clothes and ask yourself two questions – ‘Does this piece of clothing bring me joy?‘ and ‘Do I feel good in it?’ Keep only the clothes you answer ‘yes’ about.
- Donate the clothes that don’t make the cut to a church, NPO or second hand store.
- If you have clothes and towels that cannot be swapped or donated, cutting them into smaller pieces and use as cloths and rags in and around the house.
- Try washing your clothes less. Washing them less will keep them in a better condition and prolong their usage.
- Wash your clothes at a low temperature, fill your machine to capacity , and try to avoid using the tumble dryer.