I hope you’ve all had a great week and thank you for joining me for the third and final part of this series. This is where we sadly learn just how badly fast fashion is polluting our planet and the impact it is leaving that is truly immense.
It’s like I’ve done a 360° in life. As a small child until my teenage years, clothing was just what we needed, opposed to what we wanted. Although I never remember wanting lots of clothes and shoes; hell, I just wanted to throw some clothes on my back and jump on my bike, climb some trees and play out with my buddies. It’s only when into those teenage years that the fashion world was really seen in my eyes and the new shoes etc was a thing; although I still saved hard to get those nice things. But, now at 37 I’m back as a small girls way of thinking again. I don’t long for expensive brands or want loads of clothes, I get what I need and then add to my existing range here and there. The important thing is that I try to think about everything I do buy.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s so important that young kids are educated whilst the value is there. Whilst the need for over expensive and not always well made clothes isn’t a must. Whilst the cheap clothing isn’t a throwaway purchase either. If we let our children know from a young age about the clothing industry they are more likely to be conscious consumers, or at least be more thoughtful in what they buy as adults.
For instance, cheap textiles also increase fast fashion’s impact on the planet. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics, but is derived from fossil fuels. This contributes to global warming and can shed microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans when washed.
Agriculture is often thought of as the leading cause of water pollution, however fast fashion is right up there alongside it due to cheap, toxic, textile dyes. Doesn’t that give you pause for thought?
It’s all about education and It’s far to easy to bury our heads in the sand. We are all guilty of it at some point in our lives. Now at 37 I am proud of my journey from the young girl who wanted the new trainers to the young lady who asks the question, do I really need the new pair of trainers while my current ones are doing OK?
And I do… I always look at my clothes and shoes before I think of purchasing something new and ask myself ‘do I need another new vest?’ or ‘does the one or two I already own suffice?’ I can tell you; they generally suffice.
And when I do treat myself to a new need over a want, I always look at the standards of the shop I buy from.
Do they firstly sell clothes that are manufactured with the garment maker in mind, fair wage, safe & fair working conditions?
Do they use animal products? As for the example the processing of leather also impacts the environment, with 300kg of toxic chemicals added to every 900kg of animal hides tanned. That’s horrendous and very sad; being vegan and aware of the this makes me very upset, and the impact this industry has is so huge, it’s worthy of another journal entry on its own.
When buying I also ask questions like, does the material and processes behind the making of it fall into sustainability? Is the printing process as environmental as possible by today’s advancements and techniques? Are items made on-demand to reduce waste or hand-made by well-paid and fairly treated workers in small batch quantities? Is the manufacture ethical?
I want clothes that are made using low impact methods on the environment; fabrics that will last and won’t become another throwaway after just a few wears. I want clothing that I can keep in my wardrobe for years to come and also pass onto someone else in need further down the line if the chance arises.
At JRH we aim to be better and get even better as we go on. Let’s keep the movement of sustainability going. Let’s think about the effects we have on others, and let’s stay true to our values.
At JRH we only use certified organic, recycled or sustainable materials; all of which are vegan. Our printing process is on-demand to reduce waste and conforms to VeganOK measures. We produce, print or hand-make items in small batches, and we aim to only produce well-made clothing and goods that will last. We only work with factories and suppliers that conform to fair wear, fair wage and safe working conditions, and produce by an ethical production mindset - again this is something we will take a deeper dive into for a future journal entry.
If I had known as a young girl what I know now, I would have been mortified, but hindsight is a bizarre notion. Change can always be made and everyone can start today. I think if we all thought about our clothing, then it would definitely keep the fashion industry on the right trajectory. Together let's all shop responsibly and sustainably. Let's be kind to the planet, the workers, and the animals with every garment that we buy.
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