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Earth Day: How Our Fashion Habits Impact the Planet (And What We Can Do Instead)

by Emily Duff

In the midst of celebrating Earth Day, it’s crucial to reflect on our everyday habits. When it comes to the fashion industry, it’s no secret that it plays a large part in its environmental impact. 

Considering the planet with your fashion choices is super important - from embracing vintage and charity shops to organising clothes swaps with friends and family, to learning how to get the most from what you already have, there are myriad ways to align our wardrobe choices with sustainable practices.

By 2050, fashion production could contribute to 26% of all carbon emissions if left unregulated.

This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for brands to start making a change with their practices - a no that will only occur if consumers demand accountability from these companies. 

Most brands prioritise money, as many must in order to survive in this economy, so we need to use our money for good. This can come in many shapes and sizes such as only putting your money towards brands that align with your values and boycotting. 

Alternatively, by prioritising sustainability over profit, brands can spearhead a paradigm shift towards eco-conscious production methods.

In the UK, only 10% of the average wardrobe consists of second-hand clothing.

While we advocate for mindful consumption, there are instances where acquiring new garments may be necessary. It’s a universal experience of panicking when what you already have just wont cut it. 

In such cases, turning to friends and family can often alleviate the strain on the environment while still satisfying our sartorial needs. Whether it’s borrowing a specific item for the night, or, if they’re feeling generous, taking something they don’t need anymore, this is a great first option before buying something new. 

Washing synthetic clothing contributes to 35% of the total microplastics found in the ocean.

Before purchasing a new garment, take a moment to examine its label. Opting for natural fibres and investing in higher-quality pieces not only reduces environmental impact but also ensures longevity, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Currently, The number of times a garment is worn has decreased by around 36% in 15 years.

Making the most out of your wardrobe is going to save you in the long run, for so many reasons. From allowing you to already know what makes you feel comfortable and confident to reducing that “I have nothing to wear” mentality.

To combat this trend of disposable fashion, educate yourself on styling techniques through accessible platforms like YouTube and us *wink wink*. I’d recommend creators like @charity_shop_gal on Instagram and @allosonbornstein6 on TikTok.

By reimagining and remixing your existing wardrobe, you can extend the lifespan of your garments while minimising your environmental footprint.

As we commemorate Earth Day, let us reevaluate our relationship with fashion and its impact on the planet. 

Through  embracing sustainable practices, advocating for industry-wide change, and prioritising longevity over cheap and low quality products (where our budgets allow), we can collectively pave the way towards a greener, more sustainable future. 

If lizzie McGuire is an outfit repeater, so am I. Remember, it isn’t just acceptable - it’s commendable.

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