We’ve grown used to hearing about how our use of plastics and our consumption of meat are harming the planet but we’re now also waking up to how our attitude towards fast fashion is impacting the environment – good work Stacey Dooley!
Did you know that the amount of water used in creating cotton is causing desertification on a huge scale? And that the chemicals released in the dying process of fabrics are causing serious health issues for lots of people? Time to ask ourselves, what are the alternatives… and how can we become more consumer conscious?
Here are ten ways that we can realistically rethink our buying habits and feel like we are doing our bit for planet earth:
- Well this first one is pretty obvious but re-using and buying second-hand is a great place to start. It’s not just charity shops and trusty Ebay – remember old vintage shops where you can nab something really unique. You also get all the good feels that something is not being wasted and, well I frankly love getting a bargain!
- Or how about going to or organising a clothes swap for your local community? The great thing about this (and timely if you’re undergoing a big declutter thanks to Marie Kondo revolution at the minute) is that you can make some money too from the things you no longer need or want. There is the nationwide Fashion Re:Boot or local ones like the swap Mummy’s Gin Fund organised recently.
- Now to start getting creative, if some of your favourite pieces of clothing have a stain or are looking a bit washed out, why not dye them to spruce them up? And even better, use natural dyes. Check out some ideas from Pinterest here.
- If something doesn’t fit anymore or rips how about investing in getting it repaired or even better – give it a go yourself! I’ve got some of my husband’s old shirts that I’m going to re-fit for a more tailored, fitted shirt for myself. Again thanks to Pinterest, some nifty ideas and if you’re really proud of your achievements, you can even take part in the Upcycling Challenge at the Knitting and Stitching Show where you can win some great prizes for your entries!
- In the same vein, why not use old jeans and make them into shorts or even a handbag? You could invest in a sewing course so you can feel confident making something new for yourself. There are so many to choose from at the Spring Sewing School.
- I’m really excited about going to the The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show to get some new creative ideas, take part in the classes and watch the experts to learn some new skills. For a few years now I’ve wanted to try making my own clothes and the Dressmaking Studio looks right up my street. Maybe I’ll see you there?!
- Upholster a chair. Yes a bit random, but I actually did it a couple of years ago! I got some linen upholstery fabric for the exterior parts and then used jeans for the cushion and back of the wingback chair that I was given for free from a local Facebook group. Makes me smile every time I sit in it and it fits perfectly with the interior style of my living room.
- I know that the current trend is against hoarding but I find that sometimes it’s worth holding on to some items for fancy dress parties if that’s your thing. And if not for yourself there’s always world book day that creeps up when your kids need to dress up as their favourite literary character, so how great would it be if you could whip something up from your scrap fabric bag?!
- And if you really must buy, then research clothing stores and see their stance on how they produce their items and buy with a clean conscience. Some examples are Bite, Toms, Asos Eco Edit, I and Me, People Tree and Veja.
- Another brilliant philosophy to have is to buy less but better quality which means that it will last longer and you won’t be buying so frequently. This is a hard one when the purse-strings are tight but it does work!
How was that for a few ideas? I hope I’ve got your creative juices flowing and that you have some ideas for those pieces in your wardrobe that might need a little sprucing up, or that it might help direct your next shopping trip.
If like me you’re keen to learn a new skill like clothes-making (as daunting as that might seem), just go for it! I know from experience that that getting creative with your hands has so many rewards. Let us know how you get on…
We have 5 pairs of tickets to The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show to giveaway! If you would like to win a pair, just head over to our Facebook page before midnight on Sunday 10 February and comment on the pinned Facebook post about this blog.
If you don’t win, we also have a special ticket offer exclusive to MGF – just use discount code MGF19 for £2 off adult tickets and £1 off concession tickets booked in advance.
This post is sponsored by The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, which is running from 28 February – 3 March at Olympia, London.