A report suggesting ways to promote greener fashion has been produced today. Whilst as I mentioned in passing last week the average shelf life of an item is not as little as 5 weeks, it is certainly true that clothes are treated as a disposable commodity. Clothing produces an astonishing 8% of global climate emissions, which is bigger than aviation and shipping combined. There are also continual questions of the ethics of its production. Mostly concerning child labour and health and safety rules in the developing world where its made. There is also the issue of artificial fibres. These end up in the worlds oceans.
The cross-party environmental audit committee have suggested that a tax be put on each item of 1p. This would aid recycling. To me this does not seem nearly enough. There are 1 million tonnes of clothes thrown away every year. In addition retailers attempts to reduce waste since 2012 have been outweighed by an increase in sales. The other main recommendation is to introduce sewing classes to schools. This seems a sensible idea. I was taught to sow. I can do very basic repairs but no more than that. There is no question greener fashion could be an easy win. Apart from a recycling tax my recommendations would include wearing clothes longer (in all senses since washing puts fibres into the sewage and hence ultimately the sea). Buying less clothing and trying to buy clothing that has no oil based fibres in. A search on some images brought up nettles and traditionally clothing has been made from this plant. You can also buy clothing made of bamboo and hemp. This latter clothing looks indistinguishable from any other fashion item. The advantage of all these plants are that they are essentially very easy to grow and grow quickly. So there are natural alternatives and any tax should encourage these niche expensive products to go mainstream.