Slow fashion and reducing my impact
2 minute read
Many of our clothes are made of tiny plastic microfibres which pollute the ocean with every wash and wear. Here, Ghenet gives some tips on how to embrace slow fashion and limit microfibre pollution…
Credit: Genet Randall
Hi, I’m Ghenet Randall, I’m a content creator who focuses on slow living and finding joy in the everyday. Confession: I used to be a sucker for fast fashion. The second payday hit, I’d be mass ordering, filling my wardrobe with things I hardly ever wore and didn’t particularly love. It felt like a never-ending, very wasteful cycle. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve had a change of heart, and these days, slow fashion is more my vibe.
Now, I won’t sit here and lecture you, because – let’s face it – I’m no expert and I’m not perfect. I am someone who cares though… about my impact on the world, about the garment workers, about the oceans, about all of it really. I’ve watched Planet Earth and Blue Planet too many times not to, really! It’s led me to make a few changes…
The three outfit rule
For the last year or so, I’ve been following what I call the Three Outfit Rule. if I buy something for my wardrobe, I have to make at least three different outfits with it. If I can’t? Well, it gets returned or sold on. By sticking to this rule, I’m actually buying a lot less and everything in my wardrobe genuinely brings me joy.
The next change I’ve made is utilising secondhand and vintage clothing. You can find really good quality pieces secondhand, and it’ll cost you less. Better still, it’s less likely to end up in a landfill. I’m obsessed with Depop and eBay, and I’ve found some truly amazing bargains. Etsy has been a great resource for finding cute vintage pieces as well!
I’m looking at where my clothes are coming from and what they’re made from, especially if I’m buying new. I’ve actively sought out more eco-friendly, sustainable places to shop. It is harder, and sometimes it’s a little more expensive, but it’s an important change.
Microfibres under a microscope
Credit: Imogen Napper / Plymouth University
Making clothes last longer
Another thing I’m working on is caring for my clothes. I want to make sure what I am buying will last after all. I’ve stopped washing my clothing as much (I’ll wear things several times before I put it in the hamper); I’ve been looking at switching my washing powder to a more eco-friendly option and I have a guppy bag to catch microfibres in each load. I’m looking into finding a local tailor so that I can have clothing repaired and altered instead of just replacing them with new things.
It’s a real mindset shift and might feel small at times, but I’m doing my part.
Our clothes are made of millions of tiny fibres, many of which are plastic. With every wash and wear, these microfibres shed from our clothes and can end up in the environment. One of the ways we can reduce our impact is by looking after our clothes and embracing slow fashion - newer clothes shed a higher amount of microfibres! Want to find out more? Take a look at our campaign to #StopOceanThreads.