"Call it 'eco-fashion' if you like. I just call it common sense." - Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age (2014).
UPCYCLING & PERSONALISATION
In the UK, clothing worth £140 billion is dumped into landfill, of which we are rapidly running out of space. The effects of Fast Fashion and our constant exposure to "the latest thing" via the internet means that clothing is being discarded more rapidly than ever, as we constantly fight to keep up. However, learning to transform your clothes into something new can save you a lot of money and allow you to tailor your style to exactly how you want it – altering your garments into a more current shape or embellishing them with badges and patches makes them fresh and unique. We’re more likely to keep clothes that have sentimental value and upcycling encourages people to use their clothes to their full life-potential.
If some of your old t shirts are beyond wear and repair, be kind to your planet (and your wallet) by finding another use for them – cut them into cloths and use them for cleaning around the house!
Sometimes all we want is the thrill of having something new and instead of going out to buy yet more disposable clothing, the same kick can be had from swapping clothes with your friends or family. Here, everybody wins – you get to give your wardrobe a detox whilst adding some new elements to it for free. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
TAKE TO A STORE & CLAIM A REWARD
Some high-street stores have launched initiatives for customers to bring in old, unwanted textiles in exchange for a reward and now at Beaumont Organic, we are delighted to be joining them! You can now bring your unwanted clothes & accessories into our store at 49 Hilton Street, Manchester and receive £10 off a £100 spend! We’ll be donating the clothing to local organisations such as The Mustard Tree, a charity that supports the homeless, poverty-stricken community in Manchester.
You can also do this digitally by using a new app called reGAIN. The app launched earlier this year – it’s free to use and encourages consumers to recycle by offering online vouchers for major retailers in exchange for unwanted old clothes. You can free-post your textiles to them and they do all the hard work for you by redistributing giving your discarded items - giving them a second, third or even fourth life! You can find more information about where they go and how to sign up here: https://regain-app.com/.
SELL (& DONATE)
Another way you can clear out your closet sustainably is by selling your belongings at a car boot sale or on platforms such as eBay or Depop, generating cash for you to spend on refreshing your wardrobe (ethically, of course)! If you don’t need to buy anything new, you can go a step further and donate the cash you’ve generated to a charity that you support.
DONATE TO CHARITIES & LOCAL ORGANISATIONS
Another great thing to do is to support local organisations by donating your old textiles to those in need – 70% of the population wear second-hand clothing and a large part of this statistic can't afford new things. In the age of consumerism, our desire to keep up with the latest trends outweighs our actual need for the products – so why not help to restore the balance and give to those in need instead?
If you are local to us in Manchester, here are some charities that need your clothing and support:
-The Mustard Tree
-British Heart Foundation
-Wood Street Donations (Children & Baby)
The textile industry is the second most damaging industry in the world and a lot of it comes from our wastage-habits. With a few simple changes that benefit everyone, we can enjoy fashion consciously whilst helping the planet. We can do this by being curious and taking the responsibility to educate ourselves and make a difference. Here are a few enlightening documentaries to watch that will change the way you dispose of clothing forever and for the better:
-The True Cost (2015)
-Alex James: Slowing Down Fast Fashion (2016)
Images by Beaumont Organic & Freepik.