Persuasion – Make Do and Mend

After my first set of research I went away brainstorming about what environmental issues really interest me and what I could get behind. I thought about animal rights and climate change, I also thought about the bee decline and the disposable plastic industry killing or sea-life. I feel passionate about them but I knew they had been very overdone and would have taken a very serious tone. Instead I want to do something different, something where I could involve my audience. I feel it would be more successful if I could engage my audience with a fun campaign and get them excited about helping real issue. One thing I have been doing for years now is buying second hand clothes from eBay or charity shops. I also up-cycle a lot of my clothes that I may have grown out of don’t enjoy anymore. I’ve always felt it was important to not waste and to always show your own style through your outfits. I think what started my fascination was learning about WW2 in primary school and seeing the ‘make do and mend’ posters. I always loved the mentality of everything can be made into something and what may be one mans rubbish is another man treasure. I feel its especially important in todays society when fast fashion sites like Romwe, Boohoo and Asos are churning out constant cheap clothes that exploit foreign workers. Its not only a bad working environment but would pay less than minimum wage for extortionate hours, its also feeding into the disposable culture that isn’t good for the environment. ‘It is estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.’ and ‘The value of unused clothing in wardrobes has been estimated at around £30 billion.’ Its crazy the amount of clothing we can go through each year. So because of this I wanted to do some research into the subject.

Facts Concerning Textile Waste

‘The main benefit of textile recycling activities is the opportunity to reuse clothing. Through the reuse of clothes and textiles, we can avoid pollution and energy-intensive production of new clothing. Additionally, clothing that cannot be reused may be repurposed into such products as rags or recycled into fabric or other material for reprocessing.’

‘More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years.’

‘global clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014. The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste. ‘

‘An average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person. On average, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing.’

‘What is the impact of clothing? The WRAP Valuing our clothes report presents estimates for the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing. The annual footprint of a household’s newly bought clothing, along with the washing and cleaning of its clothes, is estimated to be equivalent to the:

  • carbon emissions from driving an average modern car for 6,000 miles
  • water needed to fill over 1,000 bathtubs
  • weight of over 100 pairs of jeans’

‘Extending the life of clothes As a whole in the UK, the average lifetime for a garment of clothing is estimated as ~2.2 years. Extending the active life of clothing by nine months can significantly reduce its environmental impact.’

Above are just some of the interesting facts about the mass amount of textile waste each year. I want to help this issue by creating a campaign encouraging people to think about how many new clothes they buy a year and give example of other ways they can feel fashionable without hurting the environment. After this Im going to see if there are already some campaigns for this issue just to see whats already out there and ow I can differ.


Sources Used:

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