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How to support sustainable fashion

how to support sustainable fashionA recent BBC documentary presented by Stacey Dooley has thrust the shocking environmental impact of fashion back into the limelight once again. The documentary, titled ‘Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are your clothes wrecking the planet?’ looked at the environmental impact caused by the fashion industry, highlighting two powerful examples of how ‘fast fashion’ is having a harmful effect on the planet.

The first example was that of the Aral Sea, nestled between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Aral Sea was once an important part of the economy for local fisherman, water source and holiday spot for locals. However, over the years water had begun to be diverted to feed crops like cotton and meet the demand for cheap clothing. Now, the Aral Sea has shrunken to only a fraction of its size, the local economy has collapsed, and massive dust storms wreak havoc on the remaining residents in the area.

Further backing up the claims of fashion being one of the top-5 most polluting industries in the world, Dooley visited Indonesia to look at the devastation of rivers and water sources. The documentary showed how huge factories that supply British and European clothing companies with garments are actively dumping toxic chemicals, killing local wildlife and contaminating waterways used by millions of families with cadmium, lead and arsenic.

Upon returning to the UK, Dooley was shocked at the lack of support from clothing companies and indeed government aids to support sustainable clothing options and take action against this type of pollution. However, some support was found among popular fashion bloggers who are now aiming to turn the tide on throw-a-way fashion.

Did you watch the programme? Are you now looking to act to reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the planet? If so then read on for our tips and advice on how to dress and shop more sustainably:

1 – Consider what the product is made of. Materials like hemp, soy silk, cashmere, organic cotton (not standard cotton) and flax linen have less of an impact than many other materials which are treated with pesticides, bleaches, dyes and other toxic chemicals.

2 – Become a vintage shopper. Recycling is one of the most sustainable friendly ways of shopping. Instead of allowing clothing to fall into landfill or be incinerated you can give someone else’s pre-loved clothes a new home.

3 – Learn to sew. The very low price of some clothing companies has meant that many people now buy cheap clothes which don’t last very long but are relatively cheap to replace. However, while the cost of cheap fashion may be low on our pockets, the environment pays a high cost. We can break this cycle by learning to repair our own clothes. Sites like YouTube have plenty of free videos where you can learn the basics of tailoring.

4 – Don’t be afraid to wear the same outfit twice. Social media websites and advertising have led to a culture of fashion that encourages us to have a different look every time we leave the house or appear on social media. While this might leave you with a nice Instagram feed it doesn’t help the planet and such a high consumption of clothing isn’t sustainable for the planet.

5 – Choose your brands carefully. The ethical fashion movement is growing every day and it needs your support. Look closely at the websites of your favourite retailers and see if they make any commitments to sustainability. A quick Google could give you some insight into whether or not they are a company worthy of your support.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

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