HOW DO WE STOP CLOTHES GOING INTO LANDFILL?
By Amy Devon
In the UK alone nearly 10,000 items of clothing are sent to landfill every five minutes + annually, we spend over £2bn on clothes that we only wear once, so in honour of Second Hand September, we will explore how we can actually stop clothes going into landfill.
In honour of Second Hand September we are looking at the ways that we can reduce and in some cases prevent clothes ending up in landfill. With shockingly high statistics surrounding clothing in landfill (that seem to be on the up every year) there has never been a better time to reflect on our buying habits and start to make a change.
We are by no means perfect, but we are always striving towards sustainability and transparency; The core values of everything LDC stands for. We wanted to use this space to address the issue of 'throw away' culture and delve into the ways that we can change our shopping habits and make better decisions to look after the clothes we already have.
Follow the links below to find out more about LDC's sustainability and ethics, our mission and our 3 core values that all of our brands adhere to. If you are looking to buy new on LDC, you will find the club credentials under our products descriptions; helpful bullet points designed to help you to make conscious and mindful purchases.
Investing in high quality, versatile products that can be worn to build a season-less wardrobe is a sustainable step in the right direction. We have all given into urges to buy a new outfit for that upcoming wedding, birthday or night out, but with £2billion going towards clothes consumers only wear once, there has to be a better and more effective way to spend without harming the environment. By investing in quality staple pieces such as a well fitting blazer, go-to denim and all purpose knitwear, enables you to style outfits throughout the seasons without having to buy more.
Being mindful of overconsumption and buying into secondhand and upcycled pieces where possible is an ideal way to combat a 'wear it once' mentality. Heading down to your local charity shop or vintage emporium could open the doors to a whole world of hidden treasure you wont find anywhere else and more importantly, no one else will have. With trends circling round quicker than ever and fast fashion trends copying vintage styles every season, buying second hand 70s, 80s or 90s pieces from charity will mean you will always have something to wear, not to mention it being the real deal.
Taking care of our clothes can help reduce waste drastically. When buying fast fashion pieces there is no instinctive need to take care of the them, in turn creating a never ending cycle of buying, breaking and buying new; a mindset that is not only harmful to a bank account but also the planet. After shopping smarter and investing in high quality products, it is then vital to know how to take care of them in order for them to last as long as possible. We understand that there isn't necessarily an aftercare guidebook to help you navigate so here are some helpful tips on what you can do to ensure you are doing the best for your wardrobe.
► Only wash when absolutely necessary, if you have to wash try to wash on a cool 30 degrees and use a guppy bag to prevent microplastic waste. Avoid a high spin setting as this can cause damage to clothes over time.
► Store clothes, accessories and lingerie in dust bags when they are not being worn.
► If pieces require dry cleaning, use a eco-friendly dry cleaners such as Blanc, who offer all sorts of services that will care for your clothes and the planet.
FIXING + APPRICIATION
Mending our clothes to create longevity of garments is one of the top ways to shift away from throwaway culture. We all have that item in our wardrobes that is a go-to again and again, and wear and tear sometimes cannot be avoided- Apps such as Sojo have developed services which connect users with local tailors to give clothes a new lease of life and prevents adding more clothing to landfill.
It's not just the odd hole or missing button that can make us fall out of love with our clothes; Sometimes due to the amount of pieces we have, trying to find something to wear can feel overwhelming and give an urge to buy new. Apps like Save your Wardrobe help you to organise your wardrobe and log every item you own, enabling you to appreciate what you already own and style it in ways you maybe wouldn't of thought of before.
LANDFILL AS LAST RESORT
Understanding how to dispose of our clothes effectively with landfill being the last resort. The first step in knowing how is by understanding your garments material composition, quality and condition, as all of these factors will determine what next steps you can take. There are many different things that can be considered before throwing any garment in the bin, such as...
► Could you donate your unused workwear to specific charity initiatives in your area?
► Could your old T-shirt be made into cleaning rags?
► Can your clothes be easily recycled?
► Is the quality of the clothing good enough to be given to charity or sold via a second hand shopping app?
► Could an item you have outgrown be passed onto a family member or friend?
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