There are some moments in our lives where we feel extremely motivated to make changes, set goals, start with something new. For instance, starting with a more healthy diet on Mondays or using the energy of entering a new year - the ‘you love it or you hate it’ new year's resolutions. Quotes like ‘new year, new me’ indicate the moment of wanting to do something new with a new year around the corner.
Going into 2021 the Kleiderly team has also set sustainable goals, we want to commit to. These goals can be personal, small or big. When it comes to aiming for a sustainable goal you can be sure that it will be impactful on a big scale or personal level. Here are a few goals we set for ourselves and why. Maybe there is something you want to add to your 2021 resolutions list, too!
1.Know before you buy
This is one of the most crucial steps before buying clothes, that will guarantee you a sustainable wardrobe with clothes that you want to keep for a long time.
Researching and knowing a brand before you buy an item from them, can help you to only choose brand’s that are in line with your values. For instance, do they give enough information about their social and environmental commitments and impact?
To know enough about a brand or a product can help you make informative and sustainable choices. There are great apps such as Good On You, that help make this process easier! With this, we can help reduce the 87% of clothes that end up in landfills annually!
2. Learn about the impact of textiles
There is no perfect answer when it comes to textiles. Whether it is polyester, viscose or cotton. All fabrics have the characteristics that make them unique, like the versatility of polyester or the absorbent nature of cotton. Unfortunately, all of the textiles also have their impact on our planet and on the people that work with them, from the farmers who source the fabrics to garment workers.
Oftentimes commercial production makes use of chemicals, pesticides and other ingredients that are harmful to the environment and people. And since, there is no right answer to this, considering the impact of your textiles can help already. Instead of using polyester, try to buy recycled polyester and buy from brands that use organic cotton, which does not contribute to water pollution.
3. Learn to fix your clothes
Maybe you also have this t-shirt with a little whole or pair of ripped jeans that you left on a pile to repair because they are just too nice to throw away!
I like to call it my ‘clothes I will wear again when I fix them’ pile. Unfortunately, this pile has only grown in the last years. Therefore, this year it’s about time to commit to learning to fix clothes.
Of course, grabbing some threats and needles or even a sewing machine can seem intimidating, but it does not need to be!
Not only can this help your clothes last longer, and reduce their impact, but it can also save you money. It is estimated that, in the UK, the average lifetime for an item of clothing is 2.2 years. Did you know that across nearly every apparel category, consumers keep clothing items about half as long as they did 15 years ago?
It does not need to be like this. There are great platforms such as Makerist, or online videos from how to easily fix a garment to creative mending techniques. Who knows, maybe this can become your creative outlet!
4.Wash clothes correctly
The average household washes almost 400 loads of laundry each year. The clothes we own already have a water footprint, which makes up our ‘virtual water’ footprint. For instance, one single cotton t-shirt already needs 2,700 litres of water just for the cotton to grow. This water footprint doesn’t stop there. So to minimize your water footprint you can wait till you have a full load. This way you can save over 19,000 litres of water each year, the same as taking 237 baths! And also with skipping the drying and ironing of your clothes you can save ⅓ of your t-shirt’s carbon footprint.
5. Reducing Microplastics
We don’t like waste, and especially waste generated from plastics. Not only is oil-based plastic itself unsustainable for the environment, but also the way we manage and view plastics. Even with rising awareness about the impact of plastics in the past years, there is still no significant decrease in the production of plastics. Continues production, use and throw away of plastic causes multiple effects to ourselves and our eco-systems. Microplastics are not visual to our eyes but have major negative impacts on the ocean. An estimated 500,000 tonnes of plastic microfibres shed during washing clothes and end up in the oceans. So, 2021 can be the year where we can reduce our amount of plastic by exploring laundry bags that filter microplastics or buying packaging-free products.
6. Challenge yourself: Buy nothing new for 30 days
For some, this might be normal and for some unthinkable. So, maybe for the curious ones that want to find out how it is to not buy something new for 30 days, this year could be a great chance to try it out. Not shopping for a whole month can save you a lot of money, besides this saves carbon emission from not shopping online and deliveries. What's also great about this little challenge, is that it gives you a great opportunity to look more closely at the clothes you already own. Maybe you find a way to recycle an old garment, or you find some hidden treasures in the back of your wardrobe!
Why are these commitments important?
All these steps can help keep your clothes a maximum of time and prevent it from ending up in landfills. Extending the life of your clothes by just nine extra months of active use would reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by around 20-30% each.
With limited possibilities of recycling and often donations just ending up as a problem for someone else, the way we consume and treat our clothes can be a great start in the right direction.
How does Kleiderly contribute?
At Kleiderly, we made it our mission to reduce the global fashion footprint by deriving clothing waste from landfills and incinerators. We give these valuable resources a new life by recycling them into a sustainable plastic alternative, hence solving two environmental problems at once. Spreading awareness about the impact of clothing waste is a part of reaching this mission.