Buy Well!

Here are some fast facts about fashion to help you get in the right frame of mind amidst weekend festivities. Hopefully these carefully curated statistics from  Lucy Ravenhall of Forge Recycling (a UK based company.. hence all the UK based stats) get you thinking about the impact of you fashion purchases before you make any ‘I can’t believe I bought that’ shopping mistakes. These babies will also make for great eco/ethical fashion conversation starters over drinks at the bar.

  • Brits wear just 70 per cent of the clothes that we have stored away in our wardrobes, which leaves us with a total of 1.7 billion unused items.
  • Between 2002 and 2003, for example, people in the US spent, on average, four per cent of their income on clothes, whereas back between the years of 1934 and 1946, clothing used up 12 per cent of people’s incomes.
  • On average, just one person in the UK will produce 70 Kg of textiles waste per year
  • After sorting, clothes that are donated to charity are distributed all over the world, but in fact, most of them end up in countries such as Poland, Ghana, Kenya, and Benin creating a trading commodity out of charitable donations.
  • While a trading commodity of used clothing could be seen as a good thing can destroy the textile industries of importing countries and 30 African countries have actually prohibited import embargos of used clothes.
  • The CO2e emitted by us washing and drying our clothes in the UK equals 10 per cent of the amount of CO2e emitted from cars across the country.
  • Every UK household emits around 1.5 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide = indicator of global warming potential) from their new and existing clothing – a carbon footprint that is equal to 6,000 miles travelled in an average modern car.
  • 90 per cent of the water footprint of UK clothing is made overseas
  • China has 26 million tonnes of textile waste annually, but utilises less than 2.6 million tonnes (that is 10 per cent) without even been reused.
  • According to People Tree agricultural chemicals can take up to 60 per cent of a farmer’s budget,  and, as a result, in Punjab (a region of India), between 1990 and 2007, 40,000 farmers committed suicide, because they could not pay back loans which they had taken out.

If you have appreciated the knowledge gain from these fast facts you can check out the comprehensive article written by Lucy at the Forge Recycling website. I highly recommend heading over to take a look as it chock-full of stats, graphs, and useful references. Lucy has really put in the hard yards compiling it all for you to access in one easy location with logical flow. Thank you Lucy!


Do any of these statistics shock you? Perhaps you don’t agree with them? Share your thoughts below.

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