6 reasons to shop pre-loved and donate your unwanted clothing to your closest charity store!
NCBI as a sustainability and recycling champion is delighted to partner with Junk Kouture to share knowledge and materials with the students.
DID YOU KNOW?
1) A mind-boggling 100 billion items of clothing are produced each year
Overproduction and over-consumption are two of the worst side effects of the fast fashion industry. Over the past twenty years, clothing production and consumption have doubled, yet consumers keep their clothes only half as long.
2) Three out of five fashion garments end up in a landfill within a year of purchase
As businesses cut costs and speed up production over the past decade, clothing sales have continued to skyrocket. This unprecedented access to cheap, trendy clothing has caused consumers to shift their mindset around apparel. BoF’s 2019 State of Fashion Report found that one in three young women consider a garment worn once or twice to be old, and one in seven consider it a fashion faux pas to be photographed in the same outfit twice.
3) The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry
According to the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, fashion was responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions in 2019— more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
4) Over a third of all microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic textiles
Did you know that every time you wash your favorite leggings and jumper it sheds countless tiny pieces of plastic? Any garment made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester will shed millions over its lifetime. Multiply that number by the billions and billions of polyester garments hanging in closets all across the globe, and you’ll begin to understand how the fashion industry is responsible for over a third of all microplastics in the ocean.
5) It is estimated that only 4% of clothing and footwear is recycled
Over 225,000 tonnes of textile waste are disposed of in Ireland each year. Recycling these textiles would reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions by over 300,000 tonnes per annum (equivalent to reducing annual car use by almost 50,000 cars).
6) How much water is needed to make our clothing?
It’s estimated that the fashion industry currently uses around 93 billion cubic metres of water per year, which is four percent of all freshwater extraction globally. On current trends, this amount is set to double by 2030.
The fashion industry relies on water throughout the production process for textiles and garments. It takes on average 10,000-20,000 litres of water to cultivate just one kilogram of raw cotton depending on where it is grown. Cotton is the most widely used natural material5 and the second most-produced fibre globally accounting for 24 percent of global fibre production in 2020.
- The fashion industry currently uses enough water to quench the thirst of 110 million people for an entire year.
- To produce just one cotton shirt requires approximately 2500 litres of water.
At Water Footprint they provide calculators so that anybody can calculate what affects their water footprint the most. With this information we can make decisions for a more responsible and sustainable use of water.
Why is it important to donate or repurpose?
As demonstrated above, by simply throwing away clothes that you deem to be too old, you are severely damaging the planet and are contributing to the issues in the environment and in our oceans. By both donating your old clothes and shopping directly in stores like NCBI or making use of your garments in your Junk Kouture design, you are giving clothes a much longer lifespan and are keeping them out of landfill, where they are causing damage to the environment. By proactively shopping away from fast fashion stores, or repurposing items, you are also voting with your money to influence larger companies to reduce production with, and consumption of, harmful materials.
Aside from this, shops like NCBI, in which you can buy pre-loved, are a hunting ground for both bargains and top-quality fashion items, including vintage pieces which are growing in popularity with each passing year. So, in summary, shopping in second hand stores, donating or repurposing does help save the planet.