Plastic Free Axminster on 'fast fashion'

By Francesca Evans

2nd Aug 2022 | Local News

Plastic Free Axminster
Plastic Free Axminster

By Lin Coley

In days gone by, when heading into town to buy some new clothes, you would probably have some idea of the sort of thing you were looking for before heading out.

It might be a new winter coat, or you need a smart outfit for attending social occasions – one which you could accessorise in different ways to make it last for as many events as possible.

However, over the years, attitudes towards this have changed with many more people often looking for a new outfit for every new occasion.

And what happens to the previous purchase? It may come out again in the months to come or it may end up living at the back of the wardrobe until the next clear out, when it is disposed of – sometimes to the charity shop or sometimes to the bin.

According to a paper on the subject, entitled The Environmental Price of Fast Fashion, it said: "Current fashion-consumption practices result in large amounts of textile waste, most of which is incinerated, landfilled or exported to developing countries."

Published in 2020, it identified that the fashion industry produces more than 92 million tonnes of waste around the world and uses 79 trillion litres of water.

It also found: "Fast fashion has increased the material throughout in the system. Fashion brands are now producing almost twice the amount of clothing today compared with before the year 2000."

The study highlighted the need for change in the fashion industry to more sustainable practices throughout the supply chain and decelerating manufacturing.

Of course, one of the things that will drive this would be a change in consumer behaviour by reducing the number of clothing purchases and increasing the lifetime of the garments purchased.

The authors said: "These changes stress the need for an urgent transition back to 'slow' fashion, minimizing and mitigating the detrimental environmental impacts, so as to improve the long-term sustainability of the fashion supply chain."

Changing consumer behaviour is not that easy but in the long run, it can save that same consumer money.

Buying something that is better quality and will last longer, even though it is more expensive, will benefit the purchaser as they will not need to dip into the bank account as often.

So where possible, saving up, so a better quality item can be purchased will save money in the long run, but in these tighter economic times, this could prove to be difficult for many.

Another way to aim for higher quality is to take a look in the charity shops, where there are many bargains on offer and give us all the opportunity to purchase high quality clothing. Or perhaps on online platforms such as eBay, Vinted, Depop, etc.

In essence, if we can all resist buying the latest fashion, which ends up being out of favour in a short space of time and invest in higher quality, slow fashion, with its more sustainable practices, we can improve out environment, make better use of our money and reduce our impact on the planet.

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