FashionReports and Opinions

The wastefulness of clothing

By Julianna Bello Da Costa 

Not disposing of clothes correctly is destroying our environment but we can find solutions.

The fashion industry is being criticised for its constant environmental damage. In particular, popular lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is facing backlash for discarding hundreds of bras, after a resident who lives above the newly closed store in Colorado found them. This is just one recent example of retail giants generating excess waste as opposed to recycling.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme reported that 300,000 tonnes of clothing were sent to landfill in 2016 by the UK. These clothes take decades to decompose and cause an immense impact on our environment.

The volume of new clothes bought produces a staggering amount of carbon emissions per minute. A vast proportion of these clothes could be recycled, up-cycled or even donated to charity shops and homeless shelters. Besides, there is Depop, a social app where you can buy and sell new and vintage items.

There is no secret that I am a shopaholic and have probably spent thousands in the last few years but recently I have started to donate my clothes to charity and started shopping on Depop and buying second hand. The feeling is great because not only do you save money but you become more sustainable too.

A few weeks ago Goldrush hosted a Vintage clothing sale at Brunel University, which interested a lot of students. An array of clothes and shoes were on offer at competitive prices. I bought two jumpers and couldn’t be happier knowing I was being eco-friendly. A couple of years ago I would have looked at a large pile of clothes sitting in my room and have thrown them out but now being more aware of the benefits, the thought is ludicrous.

The reason that clothes are one of the ocean’s largest sources of pollution could be that there is less incentive to recycle and fast fashion is available so freely and cheaply to us but there isn’t time to be impulsive when our planet needs us.

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