100 billion garments are manufactured every year. Fast fashion companies like H&M, Zara, Primark and Uniqlo have helped double worldwide clothing production in the last 15 years. New collections hit stores every week. We’re wearing clothes for half the time we used to and throw them away much faster, adding to the billions of waste clothes that already rot in landfills.
The consequence: we don’t value our clothes anymore. As prices plummet, more of us can afford to buy new clothes without a second thought. Even though many people admit that they already own too much, we also confess that we keep buying new clothes, according to surveys conducted in Europe and Asia.
Clothes shopping is no longer something that we really need to do. Instead, it’s a way we deal with stress, gain confidence and find self worth, connection and happiness — however short-lived. This is the dangerous addiction of fast-fashion.
Loved clothes last
We can break this spiral of over-consumption if we rethink our relationships to the clothes we already own. Happiness and confidence doesn’t have to come from buying more and more. We can enjoy finding new creative and stylish ways to dress ourselves — and actually have more fun with it when we don’t support a system that is exploiting people and nature. We can rediscover the true nature of fashion.
This week, people around the globe are showcasing practical ways how we can create a more sustainable fashion future. As part of the Fashion Revolution, some are teaching sewing and upcycling; others will help you repair and mend your clothes, or swap old outfits for new with people from your community. Fashion lovers are sharing how they buy and sell their clothes at flea-markets and secondhand stores.
Join the Haulternative challenge
If you are a fashion lover, take part in the Haulternative challenge to try out ways to make the most of what we already have. Or use the alternative fashion map to flag and find second-hand and vintage shops, DIY and craft spaces, repair shops, flea markets and clothes swapping parties near you.
You can also share a love story of your favourite clothing piece with the world to inspire others to love their own clothes longer.
Fashion Revolution Infographic
When you keep your clothes longer, doubling their life from one to two years, you reduce their carbon emissions by 24%. By being more conscious about our clothes, we can save not just money, but precious water and raw materials. We can help keep chemicals and pesticides from harming rivers, soil and wildlife, and cut our use of fossil fuels. Together we can reduce the textile industry’s burden on the planet.
Join the Fashion Revolution!
Lu Yen Roloff leads communications for the global Detox My Fashion campaign at Greenpeace Germany.