Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Benefits of eco-friendly vintage fashion

I enjoy a walkabout in the West End, especially on a sunny day. There is a wide range of charity shops and vintage fashion retailers to look round over the course of an afternoon. It seems that vintage shopping has developed a following over recent years. I have kept up my interest in second hand clothing and household goods since my student days. The chance of finding a special, one-off item makes it worthwhile rummaging through many clothes rails.

Photo of furniture and househould recycling shop, Great Western Road.

Vintage outfits are good for the planet. We cannot sustain the throw away culture that cheap fashion outlets are promoting. It is clear that low cost clothing manufacture is generating harmful carbon emissions and encouraging wasteful lifestyles. There is evidence that only 16% of unwanted clothing in the UK is recycled. The clothing going to landfill has soared and annually, 1.2 million tones ends up in landfill.

The global market for fashion has resulted in increased "clothes miles" from use of resources, transportation, and energy. The human cost of the fashion industry  has to be taken in account. Many clothing factory workers in developing countries are poorly paid and living in poverty.

Photo of recycled fashion on display at a charity shop, Great Western Road.

What is the answer?  Invest in better quality recycled or vintage fashion. You will be re-using garments that most likely would have gone to landfill and also, actively helping the environment. If you buy new clothing, it is best to buy locally manufactured or fair trade labels.

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