Casual Wear needs to be perceived in the same way as single-use plastic. They really aren't that different! Fast Fashion companies have deliberately developed a consumption model that is very similar to that of Wear it a handful of times then discard it. They both are causing devastating side effects to our planet but casual wear gets “no shout out” for its success in destroying it. So I thought I would take the time to finally give casual wear the attention that it deserves......... Well done for destroying our environment casual wear!
Be honest with me now, we have all made an impulsive purchase in the past and bought a t-shirt, which has probably left the house fewer times than you have during lock-down over its whole lifetime. In fact, I know it! A report found that on average 21% of all household clothing doesn’t ever leave your home and that the average life expectancy of casual wear is 7 outings. After that, what happens?
You would think that people would donate their clothes or find alternative usage for them. NO, NO and NO: in fact, only 15% is recycled or donated, and the rest goes directly to the landfill or is incinerated. To put this in perspective, as money gets people’s attention, that's £140 million worth of clothing sent to landfill every year in the UK alone. Equivalent to a western family throwing away an average of 30 kg of clothing each year, with 30% of this ending up in a landfill. Have I got your attention now? It’s ironic that this all is driven by societies "casual view of casual wear" and if we don’t change it, it could be devastating for our planet and people.
The industry’s textile production accounts for global emissions equivalent to 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 every year. That’s a bigger carbon footprint than all international flights and shipping combined.
Fast fashion is constantly getting used as an “umbrella term” for all unsustainable fashion habits but in my opinion, doesn’t pinpoint specifically certain types of clothing which need drastic changes to its’ consumption. Casual Wear has the same effect as single-use plastic and we need to see it that way.
So rather than buying something impulsively, please question yourself will you wear this item 30 times? Please just take seconds to tune into what lies behind that supply chain, not just thinking about the convenience or its accessibility. Take that personal responsibility to put pressure on brands to consider their environmental impact.
Less stuff means more meaning.
Last year the world consumed 130 billion pieces of clothing and footwear. Nearly 15 items of clothing per person, does that seem sustainable? I’m struck by the complacency of the fashion industry that this single-use has never been disrupted, however, I really believe that the fashion industry in on the brink of transforming itself away for the conventional fashion consumption. I hope this article inspires you to adapt your personal consumption, you can never be to sustainable! There really is no easier time than now to start changing the way in which you shop and who you shop with. Start partnering with brands who really are minimising their damage on the environment and also the people who make it, by reviewing there supply chains. If the brand isn’t transparent about their supply chain, then something is wrong.
It’s not all bad news: just like single-use plastic, people are slowly starting to see the impact of their casual wear and the opportunities to change this damage through simple consumption adaptions. The rise in popularity of second-hand digital platforms such as Depop and thrift+ with Gen-Z/Millenials is such a positive step in the right direction. Although, many people are still hesitant to shop second hand. This is why we are striving to put pressure on major casual wear brands to be more transparent about their supply chains and also build casual wear for durability/re-use. I urge you before you buy casual wear, you really do click on the “supply chain information” and the “manufacturing process” of the casual wear you are willing to buy. Don’t just fall for the greenwashing, I have in the past! Many brands do use “sustainability” or “eco-friendly” as a marketing tool rather than actually changing their business models. So just spend minutes to read their supply chains and the fabrics used.
What can be done?
Take a look at Cove Clothing: one of the most progressively sustainable casual wear brands on earth. Not only do they avoid damaging the environment to craft high quality and stylish casual wear, but they also give back to it planting 10 trees every time an item is bought with them. With the option to plant as many trees as you like with them. They have removed “price” as an excuse in preventing people from buying high-quality sustainable items. Cove bases its success of the millage that there casual wear last for. They even are starting a scheme whereby after a year of wearing you can swap the old style in for a discount on the new range. Using the old causal wear to be re-used in the manufacturing stage. Now if that isn’t sustainable, what is?
Cove Clothing is a casual wear company which truly believes “It’s time to see that every purchase you make, You’re Casting a vote for the kind of World you are wanting." Cove clothing isn’t the only casual wear making strides to minimise the negative impact its production has on the planet but Cove is striving to be the most progressively sustainable. You can decide to classify Cove as an Eco-casual wear brand but we just think it’s common sense.
Cove Clothing uses innovative sustainable materials that have the smallest of negative impacts on the planet. Cove only uses either 100% organic cotton (certified standard) or the new innovative “RE-BORN” range which uses 100% recycled materials destined for landfill, trying to end textile waste for good. Re-purposing rubbish, without making you look trashy, benefiting you, the planet and people. This is one lifestyle aspect which is effortless to change and at affordable prices, it’s hard to resist. Especially when you also plant 10 trees per purchase. You really are changing the planet for the good when you buy from Cove. They add so much more value to your shopping experience and experience I guarantee won’t be felt on fast fashion sites.
Start Changing the impact Casual Wear has on the planet for good, look to only use brands such as Cove. Why would you not? For the same price as any other Casual Wear, you buy so much more than a just high-quality stylish vegan t-shirt. Start to choose to promote casual wear brands that tell a positive story.