For a while now, I have been feeling that we are responsible for the appalling condition of our earth. We, and the generation before us, have a fast consumption mindset. We want it easy and we want it immediately. Twenty years ago, we didn’t know about microplastics or how long it will take for a polystyrene cup to not decompose. Mass produced clothes have become so cheap that we can afford to throw away perfectly good clothing. Those garments end up in a landfill somewhere. Is it a case of out of sight, out of mind? We cannot plead ignorance any longer. We need to act.
I know it feels like farting in a windstorm. As individuals we feel powerless to really bring change to such a huge problem. Big corporations need to change how they manufacture and distribute goods. I do understand this and I, as one person, have no influence over decisions made by big corporations. The only way to be an influencer, is not to buy rubbish. If a lot of people decide not to buy rubbish, they won’t make it anymore.
Enough talk about the problems we face. We can all make a difference by living more sustainable lives. Making wise fashion decisions, is a relatively easy way to reduce our impact on the earth.
Don’t buy new. It isn’t embarrassing to wear pre-loved clothing. It is responsible. The earth will thank you for keeping clothes in use for longer. Thrifting is slowly gaining momentum in South Africa. Belinda and I are advocates of this movement. Not only do Belinda and I wear second hand clothing, we also sell good quality, pre-loved garments. Here are links to our Facebook page: https://cutt.ly/bellewhimsy and our Instagram feed: https://cutt.ly/bellewhimsyclothing
Don’t discard. When you’ve grown tired of your clothes, why not donate it to a charity or a thrift store? Organise a get together with friends and have a swap party. Perhaps someone else is just dying to wear the clothes that you no longer want.
Buy biodegradable. Clothes made from natural textiles, like organic cotton, linen, silk, bamboo, wool, cashmere and hemp are fully biodegradable. Linen is actually a better choice than cotton. Linen has a lower environmental impact than cotton. Liv and Light uses only natural fibers in the manufacturing of their clothes. Here is a link to their website: https://livandlight.com/
Buy recycled. Swimwear and active wear can be manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. The first time I heard of this, it just blew my mind. Spiritgirl is an online shop that sells swimwear and yoga pants made from recycled plastic bottles. Here is a link to their website: https://www.spiritgirl.co.za/
Lastly, buy local. If you buy local you are supporting a small business. Your clothe’s carbon footprint, will also be much smaller, because it didn’t have to travel all the way from China or India.
I truly believe that if we come together and make small changes in the way we live, we can have a positive impact on our world. We can live more sustainable lives. We aren’t doing it for ourselves, but for our children and our grandchildren.