What is the true cost of our fashion habits?

You buy an item you found recently on Instagram or in a Magazine because you feel like you would look good in it. The colour is trendy and it is the latest fashion to wear. Five months later the colour is over worn by everyone and also it's a new season, so now you wanna buy a new coat . And there it is - sitting in your wardrobe collecting dust. You think that you should probably give this to a charity or worst case , throw it away because the quality is so cheap and you are sure nobody would re-buy the item from you.

Since 2000, global clothes production has more than doubled, and the average person now buys 60% more items of clothing every year. However, they now keep them for about half as long as they did 15 years ago.

This mass consumption leads to overproduction and mountains of clothing waste.

In the USA, over 85% of those clothes end up in a landfill. China, which produces 50% of the world's textiles, and imports the largest amount of recycled clothing. They have been dealing with pollution from the industry for decades.

 According to Linda Greer,  there is an expression in China that you know the colour in fashion for the next season by the color of the rivers in China.

Another issue and environmental cause is that it takes many years to decompose shoes or clothes (approximately over 200 years if made of polyester)because of the chemical dyes and synthetic textile blends.

You may think that giving clothing to charity is a useful solution. However unfortunately most of the clothing going to charities is not good enough quality to donate. If it is donated, it ends up in developing countries, where they are struggling to deal with the large volumes of waste they receive from us. Eventually it ends up in local landfills, polluting water supplies and contaminating groundwater.  

Almost half of the garments we now throw out end up going to a new home rather than ending up in landfill or at an incineration plant. So what can you actually do to help recycle these  monsters in your closet ?

How to fix this problem

1. Look at your buying habits and determine if you really need an item if it adds value to your life. Also look at the quality of the material and estimate how long this garment is gonna serve you.

2. Invest into long term ethical pieces by sustainable companies and be aware of greenwashing

3. Fix your clothes or simply upcycle some of the pieces.

4. Sell them in online communities to people who will value the piece.

5. Reduce your consumption and shop at thrift stores and charity shops.

6 . Buy pieces from smaller brands or designers to support smaller transparent one piece production. 

How Kleiderly contributes

We at Kleiderly take fabrics from companies and turn them into products like our hangers or clothing tags. We are aware of the problem and want to contribute to a circular economy that uses unused fabric and turns them into new things to reduce the clothing waste and serve people and the planet.

Sources :

https://www.planetaid.org/blog/8-little-known-facts-about-our-clothing-habits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECkLgq2W9RU

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30227025

https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/the-difference-between-upcycling-recycling

https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/these-african-countries-do-not-want-our-waste

https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/the-types-of-trash

https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/greenwashing-explained

https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/over-consumption-the-plague-of-our-days

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