Be clothes smart

Every piece of clothing we buy comes with a massive carbon footprint, pollution and water toll on our planet. Hear this out: every day, 80 billion items leave factories globally and 73 million tonnes are thrown away every year. Only 20% of clothing is recycled and 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dying. The fashion industry is now the second biggest polluter in the world, right next to oil!

On top of that, people, sometimes children, work in horrific and dangerous conditions to provide for our shopping addictions. When we come to think about the impact of what we buy, shopping is not a feel-good activity anymore.

But we don’t have to surrender shopping altogether to make huge difference. You only need to have one rule: do not buy anything new unless truly necessary. That goes for pretty much anything, but especially for clothing.

What to do?

Whenever you feel like a wardrobe re-haul or getting something “new”:

  • Go to op-shops first: you will make a double impact, helping people in need and reducing your footprint. Find your nearest op-shops on
  • Swap clothing with friends or at special events. Check out The Clothing Exchange, clothing swaps events on meetup or organize your own!
  • Up cycle your old clothes into new ones, mend what can be fixed. Search the web for inspiration!
  • Recycle old clothes into rags to use around the house
  • Donate unwanted items to charity instead of throwing them away. Fashion waste is another big issue for our landfills.

Learn more about the fashion industry impact on Eco Watch website.


Featured image by Hanna Morgan