PURCHASE ON PURPOSE
The kids need new tops and the local chain store sell new season tees at $3 each, that’s nothing, you think. You can afford to buy 10 for each child at those prices and they’ll be set. Plus a few for me! Whoo hoo! We tell ourselves; They’re so cheap, it doesn’t matter if they get ruined…They’ll grow out of them within months so why should I spend more…I can’t afford to pay more…why would I spend more…
Here’s something to consider;
Australians are one of the largest consumers of clothing and other textiles on the planet with a whopping 27kg of textile purchased by each person, on average, per year! That’s the weight of a 10 year old girl (or my post injury weight gain but we each measure things in our own way). What’s so concerning about this number is the alarming wastefulness. We think that we can do a closet clean out and help the less fortunate by donating to charity and the world continues to spin as it should. The sad truth is, only about 15% of donated clothing is suitable for resale due to poor quality. FIF-TEEN PERCENT!
A tiny portion is then used as rags for industry but even if we were generous and said 10%, that would still leave 75% of all clothing going to landfill. That’s over 20 kg of landfill in clothing and textiles per person per year!
*Pause for inevitable GASP…
But wait, it get’s worse!
Two thirds of new textiles bought are now made from non bio degradable, synthetic fibres derived from petroleum. The clothing we are throwing away in these huge numbers is mainly PLASTIC and NON BIODEGRADABLE!
We as a society are more aware than ever of the environmental footprints we leave and through eye opening research now need to know the origin of every ingredient we eat, yet are obsessed with purchasing “fast fashion”. Cheap clothing produced cheaply.
If produced in ethical working conditions (and we all know that’s a big IF), primarily manufactured by chain stores, “Fast Fashion” is wasteful in it’s production, it looks cheap, becomes misshapen, threadbare and fades fast. Most pieces ending up in landfill within a year. Some people refuse to wear the same garment more than once because of the freshness of new clothing and the price of replacement.
This is not only an environmental issue, it’s a social one.
Think about your favourite pieces, how long have you had them? If you’re like me, you have had them forever and they have survived culling after culling, weigh gains and losses and probably one of the few garments you use the nice hangers for. I have an attachment to those pieces similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s “Golden Boy” tee. They’re first into the new rotation. I mourn the loss of any of my beloved faves like a child having a tanty.
Quality clothing and other textiles can last for years and years and best of all, look expensive and despite what we tell ourselves, this is equally true for children’s products. My two young, growing children have had the a handful of tops and dresses from my store for over 3 years! My 4 year old even goes to those tops first when they appear in his wardrobe magically laundered. Yep, the kid has taste! – Takes after his Mummy. I’m so proud.
With the new payment options, an endless amount of quality brands and cool textiles available, there’s every reason to reconsider the way we shop. While Fast fashion will undoubtedly be here to stay, it should become a “sometimes” thing the way Maccas is a “sometimes food”.
If we want to support the designers that create these trends, the high quality and fair manufacturers, distributors, transport companies and Australian retailers – as well as reduce our own waste and acknowledge our textile footprint, we need to purchase on purpose.