Whilst a huge proportion of responsibility resides within organisations to carry out business more sustainably, citizens can use their purchasing power to send a strong signal to the industry.
It is empowering to know that we can all participate in the climate movement, but to do so sustainability itself must be sustainable – meaning that it is accessible, enjoyable and enriching. And it can be.
By changing our behaviours, we can show companies that the demand is shifting to more sustainable expectations.
Continue reading to see just some of the actions you can take today, and read our citizen’s guide to conscious consumption here.
Take time to appreciate the clothes you already have and avoid impulse purchases based on the latest micro-trends.
Clothing consumption is set to rise 63% by 2030, (Greenpeace) but today we wear our items 40% less than 10 years ago. (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
When you do need to buy something new, look holistically at brands efforts towards both social and environmental sustainability. Every time you opt for one garment over another, you incentivise brands to continue with the practices behind the item.
Supporting a circular fashion system is a great way to be more responsible. You can find unique pieces on a budget in charity shops, vintage stores and on resale sites.
Repairing clothing is crucial to extending the lifetime of the garments already in your wardrobe. If clothes stayed in active use for nine months longer (extending their average life to around three years), this would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30% (WRAP, Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion (July 2017))
Have an occasion coming up that you want to dress up for? Renting not only saves money but allows people to indulge in trend-forward pieces without having to toss them aside after an event.
Scientists estimate that textiles produce 35% of the microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Use a filter when washing clothes to capture microfibres and prevent them.
As well as keeping your clothes in better condition, by turning down your washing temperature to 30° you could use 60% less energy than if you wash it at 60°.