Fast fashion (& cheap homewares) have completely revolutionised the way we shop, it’s cheaper and more accessible than ever before. New products arrive in store faster than consumers can keep up and because the quality of them is often poorer, the result is not just that we’re buying more – we’re throwing away more, too.
Did you know that almost a quarter of Australians admitted to throwing away items of clothing after wearing them just once, while 75% of Australians have thrown away clothes at some point in the past year* with one in six millennials saying they hang onto their wardrobe for two years before binning it.
Boom to bust
This throwaway culture is unsustainable and a disaster for the environment. The ABC’s War on Waste program reported that a whopping 6,000kg (six tonnes!) of fashion waste is generated every 10 minutes in Australia. That’s thanks in part to people choosing to throw away their unwanted clothes over donating them to charity.
And that waste will remain in landfill indefinitely, taking hundreds of years to break down, if ever. That’s not even taking into consideration the huge environmental cost of producing the garments in the first place.
Textile production also uses vast amounts of water, with the Textile Exchange reporting that it takes more than 2,100 litres of water to yield just one kilogram of non-organic cotton. On top of that, garments are often made in unethical, exploitative working conditions that endanger the health and lives of workers.
Enter op shopping
As a consumer, one of the most effective actions you can take against the fashion industry is to embrace the humble op shop.
Op shopping breaks the cycle of fast fashion, diverting garments destined for the trash from landfill and takes money out of the pockets of multinational fashion corporations and puts it back into the local community and charities.
The vital role of op shops
The role of op shops in the waste crisis can not be understated, with op shops diverting more than 530,000 tonnes of clothing and other donated items from landfill in Australia in 2015-16**
“The more we keep out of landfill, the fewer harmful emissions we release into the environment, and lord knows we need all the help possible in that area.” – Fashion Hound blogger Faye De Lanty
Benefits of op shopping
While the benefits of op shopping on the environment are undeniable, as well as saving money to empowering your local community and supporting the mission of a charity like us here at Link Vision. Op shops often sell items of higher quality that are more durable and more unique than you might find in a retail space. That means you’ll look great and probably feel better, too.
“Your purchase and shift in mindset will have a ripple effect within your sphere, the more we do, the more momentum we create.” Says De Lanty
By supporting our op shops and donating your old items, we can provide more money and resources to our low vision accomodation units, computer club and support those with low and no vision for years to come.
** According to population and data experts .id
Original article by Joana Partyka – https://greens.org.au/magazine/opt-op-how-make-more-sustainable-fashion-choices