There’s now a very real reason to favour enduring style over flash-in-the-pan fashion trends.
A new report reveals that in 2016 Brits sent 350,000 tonnes of clothes to landfills, and bought 1.13 million tonnes of new clothes to replace them. In 2012, by comparison, we bought 950,000 tonnes.
As well as wasting our hard-earned cash on god-awful scoop neck tops, this caused 26 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which came from the clothing being produced, transported, bought, washed and ultimately discarded.
While fashion is the eighth largest sector in terms of household spending, it’s ranked fourth for its impact on the environment. And although some improvements are under way in the industry, the benefits are offset by the fact that we’re buying more clothes, more often.
The report, Valuing our Clothes: The Cost of UK Fashion, argues that sustainable fashion needs to become more mainstream, urging retailers to prioritise the most popular clothing. Among the worst offenders are men’s T-shirts and jumpers.
In the future, the researchers behind the report hope we can see more durable, higher quality clothing on offer.
For the rest of us, it advises washing clothes at a lower temperature, tumble drying less often and, y’know, recycling. And hey, it couldn’t hurt to get our cost-per-wear ratio down a bit.