I choose to upcycle and reuse my clothing to reduce the volume of textiles heading to landfill, incineration or downcycling. Reducing the volume of waste dumped in landfill is essential and reusing and recycling helps this happen. One of the best ways to reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the planet is to use again what we already have.
In the UK over two million tonnes of textiles are sent to landfill every year. When a garment is sent to landfill, it is not only the fabric and components that are wasted but also every resource that went into making it in the first place. From the water used to grow cotton, or oil used to make the polyester, the energy used to run the factory, the chemicals used to dye it and the ships used to transport it. Each new garment requires this whole chain to happen over again, meaning more resources to be extracted from the planet. We can't continue to endlessly extract resources and dispose of them in landfill, it is causing extreme damage to our planet and our people. The main environmental problems arising from the manufacture, transportation, retail and consumption of textile items include waste of resources and methane production from continuous use of landfill, water depletion and water pollution.
These environmental problems in turn have a negative impact on people. In addition to suffering these environmental impacts, thousands of disadvantaged people around the world are exploited through the manufacture of garments.