In the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe … four children found a whole new world at the back of their wardrobe … what can you find? 80% of 16-24-year olds can’t remember what clothes they own – can you? Maybe you’ll find some surprises! If we can’t remember what we already have, we are more likely to think we need to buy something new. In the UK, we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe!!
This week’s challenge is to try to think about your clothes in a new way – ‘how do I repair it’, not ‘how do I get a new one’. It can be exciting to find clothes that you haven’t worn for a while - if it still fits - you’re ready for the summer! If there’s a tear or a stain, can you remember how it got there? That’s part of your story and makes your clothes into your own portable memory box! If you need to, can you mend it, patch it or even tie-dye it? If it is too small for you, can you pass it on to a friend/cousin/neighbour? After you have tidied up your clothes cupboard and helped tackle climate change by buying less - then don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON!
Can you believe it … clothing production actually contributes more to climate change than international air travel and shipping combined! Clothing-related carbon emissions come from 1) cotton growing, 2) cotton processing, 3) garment manufacturing, 4) retail packaging and transportation and then 5) post-use waste and recycling.
If you have to buy new, can you find the label and investigate what’s in it and where it was made? Organically grown cotton creates over 40% fewer carbon emissions than non-organic cotton because it supports healthier soils, avoids pesticides and fertilizers, and uses 90% less water than regular cotton! Try to avoid synthetic fabrics where possible - their production is fossil fuel-based and they shed ‘microplastics’ into our environment. This movie explains about how clothes are made, and their impact on the environment - TED-ed talk on ‘the life cycle of a t-shirt’
Wouldn’t it be amazing if all old clothes could be recycled and made into new clothes with no waste at all? This would be called a ‘circular economy’ – when all raw materials (like cotton) are recovered from waste products and then recycled to make more of the original items. Ellen MacArthur (who sailed nonstop, solo, round the world!) is helping to drive this change in the fashion industry. Watch these movies to learn more about the Circular Economy and more specifically about A circular economy for fashion.
Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have undertaken this wardrobe challenge and send us a photo of your crafty repairs or your tidy cupboard!