What fashion does to the environment

30 07 2009

If saving money and having amazing, individual pieces wasn’t enough reason to go vintage, here are a few more.

Planet Ark tells us just how much of an impact we’re making when we buy someone new clothes.

Every dollar Australians spend on new clothes as gifts consumes 20 litres (four gallons) of water and requires 3.4 square metres (37 sq feet) of land in the manufacturing process. (scary statistics!)

Australian Conservation Foundation lets you calculate your impact on the environment. Notice that how much you spend on new clothes is important!

They give you some good reasons to buy second hand.

Producing clothes has a significant environmental impact, using much water, energy and land. The amount of water used in the production and transport of clothes bought by an average Australian household each year is 150,000 litres – buying second hand clothes or repairing old clothes could save much of this water. Cotton in particular requires a lot of water and often also uses a lot of chemicals. On average worldwide, every new T-shirt made takes about 1.5 kilograms of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to produce.

Go Green Australia describes how you’ll be helping.

By going secondhand and pre-loved, you’re:

  • reducing the amount of time, energy and resources spent on the construction, shipping and sales of new clothes
  • reusing items that aren’t ready to be thrown out yet
  • recycling fashion, in the best tradition of retro-chic!
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