This Valentine’s Day Love the Environment and Buy Vintage
Fast fashion – you love the way it keeps your wardrobe on trend, but might be starting to hate the damage it’s doing to the planet. So for an ethical, fashionable alternative, try vintage.
Most of us are aware of the carbon footprint of flying to Europe a t-shirt or pair of jeans stitched in India or China – but what about the environmental cost of growing the raw material itself? Or the damage caused by the manufacturing processes to turn the material into something we can wear?
When it comes to our brand new clothes, there are unexpected environmental costs each step of the way. In fact the biggest impact on the environment isn’t how our clothes get to the shops – but how they’re made. 70% of the total carbon footprint of an item happens during the production stage.
In 2016 an Oxfam’s research team discovered that buying a standard white cotton shirt, produces the same amount of carbon emissions as driving a car for 35 miles. And it’s estimated the life cycle of a pair of jeans or a t-shirt – from growing the cotton to dyeing it – uses up an astonishing 20,000 litres of water.
Even if you’re not a hardcore fast-fashionista, buying any new item of clothing has a high impact on the environment. To put it simply – the more new stuff we buy, the more harm we cause.
By switching to vintage we can still satisfy our lust for clothes, with a faction of the cost to the environment: there are no manufacturing processes, it save clothes from landfill – and, as these older items were built to last longer that today’s mass-produced clothes, they’re often better quality than what’s new in the shops.
So love your planet – and shop vintage.