Anything we buy – clothes, tech, white goods, furniture, toys – uses resources and energy and creates some sort of pollution in the making, shipping, shopping, and in the eventual throwing away, recycling, disposal.
But buying stuff also creates jobs and provi des livelihoods, and having some stuff makes life better.So the choices here are about which things and how much of them we buy to really enjoy them, while minimising pollution and providing good, non-exploitative livelihoods.
Throw-away fashion and upgrade-culture tech are the epitome of what we can’t keep doing. They exploit people and resources and add to pollution and carbon emissions. Oh… and, spoiler alert, the happiness doesn’t last!
Overall, when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of our stuff the principles to apply seem to be:
- quality stuff lasts longer. Buy that.
- care for it well.
- share where possible.
- repair rather than replace.
- re-use and repurpose where possible.
- recycle at the end of their useful life.
Plenty to discuss here. Let us know your stuff reduction tips!
Greener stuff ideas for your Change List
Can anyone help on this one? We know that cotton uses vast amounts of water and pesticides in its production, even organic cotton uses lots of water. So can petrochemical fabrics ever be environmentally better? Some artificial fabrics are very long lasting and dry fast saving energy on clothes drying....Read More
I heard a high-end fashion journalist on the radio recently saying he now buys all his clothes in blues and greys so that everything goes with everything. Goodbye co-ordination anxiety, hello smaller wardrobe, easier packing for travelling, a new greener aesthetic, and more money to spend on fewer, higher quality...Read More
It’s absolutely clear that we’ve got to shift to quality not quantity. It’s going to be an upheaval for the fashion industry that is built on making you think that last year’s clothes are passé, but next time you’re clothes shopping why not look for something that will last in...Read More
If rootling about in the local charity shop is not your thing there is a growing number of online vintage stores. Oxfam have put all their vintage clothes online with profits going to the charity. Beyond Retro has been growing since 2002 and has a website that is packed with...Read More