This means keeping the things you’ve got and using them until you can’t anymore, then giving them a new life in another form. This can be as easy as remembering to put your reusable shopping bags in your car so that you won’t forget them and buy new ones for the 5th time this month, or making sure that your old clothes go to a recycling facility as opposed to landfill. 300,000 tonnes of unwanted garments are thrown away every year in the UK, and the majority of these will take up to 200 years to decompose. It's crazy to think that our great great great great grandchildren will grow up in a world which still has our clothes in, just buried deep under the ground. By cutting down on what we throw away we can reduce the environmental impact that our items, and then our waste, is having for the generations to come.
When you’re privileged enough to have a choice in what you buy, it's important to go for the most sustainable option available to you. This means choosing to buy from businesses which exist by sustainable principles, such as sourcing locally, or only using natural materials, or choosing recycled options. Any of these changes can be the difference between doing harm or doing good for our environment. So many fashion brands are now choosing to operate and manufacture sustainability that it is possible to shop without having a negative impact on the environment.
Shopping wisely means asking questions of the companies you’re buying from - any business with certifications of their sustainability will be proud to show them off! As ‘organic’ isn’t a protected term within the fashion industry, it's very easy for brands to hoodwink their consumers into thinking they’re more sustainable than they are if they’re not actually certified by GOTS. By looking at these certifications you can avoid being greenwashed. It's important to use our purchasing power for good and choose to spend our money with companies which are really doing all they say they are to help the environment.
Trees take in the CO2 which power plants, factories, and cars are pumping out into the atmosphere, helping to slow climate change. An average tree will absorb around 21kg of CO2 per year - enough to cancel out 52miles of driving. This may seem like a small statistic but if you consider that in its lifetime a tree will absorb 1 tonne of CO2, and that trees normally stand in forests, surrounded by other trees, then the impact is far more significant. We also plant a tree with Ecologi for every product we sell which means that our yarns are having an overall climate positive impact - and that's on top of offsetting over twice their carbon footprint.
Finally, it's important that sustainability isn’t a secret. Tell your friends and family about the sustainable businesses you love, or the new ways you’re learning to recycle your items, or just how many trees you’re planting! Being environmentally conscious is contagious and the more people who are on board, the bigger impact we will have!
Let us know what you’ve done for Earth week and inspire us in the comments below.