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Back in May 2017 I launched The Ethical Style Project (join here) – a year-long project where along with the participants I pledged to quit shopping for clothes for 1 whole year. The purpose of the project is to learn how to upcycle clothing that you already own so that you actually wear it! Those who sign up to the project receive (weekly) basic but essential fashion and style lessons that will teach you how to understand your own physical appearance, empowering you to be able to identify styles and colours that will suit you and which items are best for you to avoid. Additionally, there are regular DIY fashion tutorials that are simple yet effective in revamping fashion items that you already own but may not wear.
The official challenge ends on May 7th 2018 but if you wish to sign up and take advantage of the wealth of content provided to you then please do not hesitate to join. Even if you haven’t been part of the challenge since the beginning, support and informative sustainable style lessons will continue long after the challenge completion. Furthermore, due to the success of this challenge and the way in which it has been so well received, I have decided to plan subsequent sustainable fashion challenges on a continuous basis.
20 Sustainable Fashion Facts
- 95% of clothing that gets thrown away could be recycled or upcycled.
- Only 15% of the textiles thrown away in America each year get recycled or upcycled.
- 80 billion items of clothing are sent from factories worldwide each and every year!
- The average British woman keeps £285 worth of unwanted clothes in her wardrobe, knowing that she will probably never wear them again.
- The average person has up to 22 outfits that are left hanging in their wardrobe and never worn.
- Collectively, £30 billion worth of clothes are left unworn and wasted each year.
- The average American disposes of approximately £72 GBP worth of clothing, shoes and textiles per year.
- Each year the clothing consumption is the cause of producing 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per household. This is the equivalent to running 6000 cars!
- Only 2% of the clothing bought in the USA is made in the USA!
- After oil and agriculture, fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world!
- Would you pour 7000 litres of water down the drain? That’s exactly what you’re doing when you throw away a pair of jeans!
- Compared to typical retail, e-commerce typically utilises 30 per cent less energy – another reason to shop online!
- Tencel fibre is a popular vegan alternative material. It takes just one acre to grow one tonne of Tencel.
- Cotton takes five times more land space in comparison with eco-friendly fibres such as Tencel.
- The production of cotton is responsible for a quarter of the world’s pesticide usage!
- In the year 2012, 14.3 million tonnes of textiles were disposed of in America.
- During the production process, 15% of the material used to make the average item of clothing is wasted from cutting patterns.
- Drying your clothes naturally (air-drying) would save 700lbs worth of CO2
- More often than not, any product with the word “anti” in them will contain hidden, nasty ingredients that cause more harm than good.
- A plastic clothes hanger takes up to 40 generations to breakdown in a landfill.
Easy Ways to Support Eco-Friendly Fashion
- Repair items that need mending
- Upcycle what you already own
- Wear what you already own
- Swap clothes
- Shop second hand
- Shop from sustainable, vegan brands
- Make wearable items
- Hire items to wear from clothing rental companies
- Learn how to wear the items you already own
- Learn how to shop smarter for items that will suit you
- Don't buy items that you don't love
- Wear each garment 30 times before discarding it.