How can I make my clothes more sustainable?
Trends such as fast fashion and constantly changing fashion collections have boosted the production of clothing over the last few decades. By outsourcing production, it became possible to offer cheaper fashion. This has meant that fashion can also be had for little money, but cheaper garments are often made with materials that have a lower quality standard. These often break faster and end up in the garbage. They are therefore anything but sustainable - regardless of whether they are made of synthetic or natural fibers.
What do textile waste and plastic waste have to do with each other?
Today, about 60 percent of clothing already contains polyester, i.e. plastic. This yarn is extremely inexpensive and therefore serves as a driver for fast fashion companies.1 In this way, new collections can be brought out continuously and clothing can be sold at the cheapest prices. Most people, by looking at the tags in their own closet, can probably tell that many, if not most, clothes contain synthetic fibers.
What happens to plastic waste in the form of textiles? LHowever, a lot of our plastic waste ends up in the sea, not least because it – including textile waste and old clothes – is often shipped to developing countries. LAccording to the WWF, a large proportion of plastic waste enters the oceans through rivers2. The reason for this is that many LChanges do not have a functioning waste management system to collect, sort and recycle waste.
Plastic waste and its reuse has long been an important issue. While a lot of household plastic waste can be recycled (you can read more about read here, it is not easy to collect and process the plastic waste from the oceans. But that's not all:
What does fast fashion clothing have to do with microplastics in the sea?
Microplastic is plastic in its smallest form. With a maximum Size of 5 mm, microplastic particles are usually not visible to the naked eye. When you wash clothes made of or with synthetic fibers, microplastics are released.3 This happens due to the abrasion that takes place during washing by spinning and fabric softener. It eventually enters our rivers and seas via runoff, where it can be ingested by marine animals and harm them.4
LUnfortunately, microplastics do not decompose, they only remain in the environmental cycle and become smaller, which does not make them any less harmful. If you want to live more sustainably, you should wash your clothes less often, this saves electricity and extends the Ldurability of the clothing and protects the environment. On the other hand, you should change your consumption behavior for fast fashion in order to live more sustainably. Luckily, there are eco-friendly, low-cost alternatives, such as upcycling clothes.
Why is upcycling good for the environment?
You can also upcycle clothes to reduce textile waste. T-shirts, for example, can be transformed into a new top without much effort. But you can also get creative and make bags, curtains, pillows or even old clothes yourself shopping bag to recover.
By upcycling clothes, you have to buy less and you can reduce your own textile waste and the resulting environmental impact. Oil, water, pesticides and dyes are used in the production of new clothes, all of which harm the environment. For example, growing cotton requires a large amount of water.
By the way: LAccording to the Federal Environment Agency, 12 to 15 kilograms of clothing are bought in Germany every year, which is above the global average of 8 kilograms.5
When upcycling you can be creative Llet up Old textiles and clothes from second-hand shops and a sewing machine can often be used to make great new clothes. Your own creations not only have the advantage that you can adapt them to your own figure, but also design your own style. Inspiration and instructions for sewing your own clothes can be found in numerous online tutorials, blogs and videos.
Of course you can also buy handmade, upcycled and fairly produced unique items from us shopping. Maybe there is something for you!