Ragged Life and Love Your Clothes:
I have a spot of very exciting news… over the next few months (and hopefully longer), I’m going to be partnering up with Love Your Clothes to help with their campaign to reduce textile waste in the U.K. A staggering amount of clothing ends up in landfill, so I’ll be working alongside other talented “Super Crafters” across the U.K. to inspire the British public to do more with their cast off garments (and boy, am I up for the challenge).
As you’ll probably be seeing Love Your Clothes popping up left and right on my social media, I thought it would be a nice idea to introduce them with a blog post so you can all get a better understanding of who they are and what they do, so here it goes… I hope I do justice to their wonderful organisation!
Love Your Clothes and WRAP:
Some of you may have heard of WRAP before but wouldn’t be able to clearly explain what they do to someone else (I wasn’t entirely sure myself). Well, WRAP are a not-for-profit organisation who work with governments, businesses and everyone to create a world in which we are able to source and use resources sustainably. Their ultimate mission is to protect the environment whilst building stronger economies and supporting more sustainable societies. WRAP’s campaigns cover everything from the food we eat and the products we buy, right up to the clothes we wear… which is where Love Your Clothes comes in.
Love Your Clothes is the textile arm of WRAP which focusses on encouraging people to embrace a more sustainable approach to the way that we buy, care for, upcycle and recycle our clothing. Their aim is to get us to make small conscious changes to reduce the impact of clothes on the environment… neat, eh?
But what’s the big problem?
Well, every year an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing go to landfill in the UK and that’s one hell of a lot. According to Love Your Clothes, clothing has the fourth largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food and there is huge potential for consumers to get more from what they already have. In a recent article from the Guardian (Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills) Lucy Siegle mentioned that last year, 1,130,000 tonnes of new clothing was purchased in the UK and that most garments only last around 3.3 years before being discarded… eek… are we really that wasteful? My 100 year old grandma would have a fit if she saw that stat…
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom!
Ok, so the British textile waste situation isn’t looking great, but don’t worry, there’s plenty we can do about it. One of the main things I like about the Love Your Clothes campaign is their focus on how we can make a huge difference by taking small steps. Their mantra is that embracing a more sustainable lifestyle can be as simple as replacing a button or buying from charity shops, rather than new (chances are it will save you money, too).
The Love Your Clothes website has a tonne (perhaps the wrong word here ;)) of great tips on how you can get the most out of your clothes whilst minimising your environmental impact and I’ve picked out five of my favourites below. Definitely have a browse if you get a minute.
5 Textile-Waste Reducing Tips:
1) Make a Rag Rug – haha, you didn’t think I’d do an article like this without stating the obvious did you? Making a rag rug increases the longevity of a garment. According to Love Your Clothes, extending the active life of half of UK clothing by nine months would save 8% carbon, 10% water and 4% waste per tonne of clothing… now those are numbers I like. One medium sized rug takes around 20-25 t-shirts so that’s a lot of clothing you’re saving from landfill.
2) Odd Sock Upcycling Project – socks seem to mysteriously disappear when I do my washing. It’s strange, but inevitable. Love Your Clothes have lots of tips on what to do with those odd socks but my favourite is trimming them, filling them with lavender or pot pourri and making a scented bundle for your drawers or wardrobe. You can find plenty more ideas here.
3) Dry Clothes Naturally – Love Your Clothes has a lot of posts on how to care for your garments, but one simple hack is to forego the tumble dryer in favour of air drying outside. Not only will this cut down on electricity bills but you’ll also keep your clothing in better nick… plus line dried clothes smell amazing 🙂
4) Make Your own Christmas Jumper – Christmas jumpers are probably some of the most one-use garments I can imagine… they bring a smile to your face for the two times you get to wear them in the lead up to Christmas then gather dust in drawers for the remaining 363 days. Well, Love Your Clothes have partnered up with a Super Crafter or two to help show you how you can turn an old unloved top into a Christmas jumper without having to buy one new. Check out the project here.
5) De-clutter! I wouldn’t have thought that this would be a way to help the textile waste situation but, believe it or not, decluttering gives someone else the chance to give your perfectly lovely clothing a new lease of life and home. I was strangely mesmerised by this video of how you should go about editing your wardrobe.
So that’s it from me, but if there’s one thing they’d love you to take from this post…
Please keep all clothing and textiles out of the bin (yes, even your pants).
Thanks lovely crafters 🙂