Making your household more sustainable can be quite a daunting task, especially when you're a parent. Where do you begin? At Bundlee, we're super conscious about clothing waste. In today's world, humans have evolved to treat clothes with less respect than they deserve. In the UK, 360,000 tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year (Hubbub,2019). And the average item of clothing is only worn 10 times before being discarded. If this rings true for your family, perhaps clothing waste is a great place to start! In this article, we'll discuss some small changes you can make to dramatically reduce clothing waste in your home, from renting baby clothes to clothes swap parties.
How many clothes are wasted each year?
92 million tonnes of clothes are sent to landfill each year. Which, according to Earth.org, is the equivalent to a rubbish truck full being dumped at landfill sites every second.
How does clothing waste affect the environment?
The impact of clothing waste on the environment goes so much further than just filling up landfill sites. Clothes damage the environment on a microscopic level. Literally.
Most clothing today still use synthetic materials which are non-biodegradable. Polyester is one of the main issues with such clothing, as when it breaks down, it breaks into microplastics. According to an article by Treenation, 'polyester accounts for nearly three-quarters of the microplastic pollution found in the Arctic' (Treenation, citing Ross et. al, 2022).
The fashion industry is the second biggest consumer of water. In fact, to process one kilogram of fibre, it requires 100 to 150 litres of water. This adds up to over 79 trillion litres of water consumed per year...
Our top tips for reducing clothing waste at home
The statistics on clothing waste are daunting, right? Which is why we need to be taking every action we can to reduce the amount being thrown away each day, week, month and year. You can do this so easily, and can start small with the following options.
Look after your clothes
How you care for your clothes makes such a difference in the long run when extending their life. This includes how you wash your clothes, and taking time to repair them.
Washing your clothes at a lower temperature not only helps reduce your carbon footprint, but also is more gentle on the fibres in your clothes too. And when it comes to drying, air drying your garments will also reduce chances of any snags or fabrics rubbing together during tumble drying.
There are also some great options out there for clothes and shoe repairs. Brands such as Patagonia give some great tips on their Repair Portal for how to fix your damaged clothing, and even offer to repair any Patagonia clothing for you.
Similarly, Vivobarefoot will take in any of your worn Vivos via their Revivo service and give them a refresh, keeping them out of landfill and a new lease of life to get those extra steps in. Handy! (Or should we say... footy?)
Have a clothes swap party
Any excuse for a party, right? A clothes swap party can be as small or as big as you wish or can manage. If you're thinking small, simply invite friends and family over and set up rails of all your unwanted clothing in your home. Then swap to your hearts content!
Visit charity shops
There are so many perfectly decent clothes in charity shops for you to give a home. Plus, they're super exciting to look through when you have in mind what you're looking to add to your wardrobe.
This goes both ways of course. Take old clothing which you can't sell on websites - like Vinted, Depop or online marketplaces - and take them to your local charity shops, or local charities which help families, such as baby banks in your area. This helps those in need and it feels great to do on a regular basis, too.
Rent your clothes
Renting is the modern solution to reducing clothing waste. By renting part of your wardrobe, you can not only swap out clothes more regularly and keep your outfits more seasonal and exciting, but you also save so much space too.
If you're a parent, you might want to consider clothing rental more than others. That's because 183 million pieces of kids clothing go to waste each year, according to Hubbub (2019) and babies outgrow 7 clothing sizes in their first 2 years. This truly sums up how baby clothes really are the ultimate fast fashion.
Signing up to a baby clothes subscription is an amazing way to reduce clothing waste, save money on their clothing (yep, they're expensive aren't they?), and also save space in your home. And of course, the most important part is knowing that you're doing your part to protect the planet and help set your little one up for a better future.
Bundlee is a great option to get you started. You can pick from all your favourite sustainable baby clothes brands and simply swap out your baby's wardrobe whenever they're ready for the next size up. Easy!
I know what you're thinking... babies are messy, so what about stains and damage? But you don't have to worry about any mess with your included rental insurance, and our eco cleaning facility get out even the toughest stains.
If you're interested in renting, click here to find out more about how baby clothing rental with Bundlee works!
Reducing global clothing waste is not something which can be done by just you, and it also can not be achieved overnight. However, by practicing doing the above ideas and becoming one of many, we can begin to reduce clothing waste collectively, creating a better future for the generations we are bringing up and teaching them sustainable ways of living.