It’s the month of love – love songs are on the radio, couples have booked out all decent dining spots in the city, and the smell of red roses is beginning to leave you in a constant state of nausea. At a time when we’re all drowning in a sickly sea of romantic love, I’m here to throw you a lifeline. Let’s talk instead about the love that never fails – our love of clothes.
I was recently pointed to a report published by WRAP on Valuing Our Clothes by none other than Clare Press, the journalist queen of the sustainable fashion world. I devoured the stats, but came away with one key fact: I love my clothes, and you should love yours too.
The average piece of clothing in the UK has a life expectancy of under 2 years and 3 months. That’s shorter than the average lifespan of your pet rat. About the lifespan of your pet mouse, though I hear mice leave a much smaller footprint (carbon, water, waste and, well, foot) when reproducing than your average white t-shirt.
If we could extend the average lifespan of our clothes by just 9 months (to 3 years), the environmental impact would be enormous. On average, the carbon footprint would be 27% smaller. The water footprint would be 33% smaller. The waste footprint would be 22% smaller.
The solution? Love. It’s always love. Love your clothes. Wear pre-loved clothes. Let others love clothes that you no longer have a burning passion for. Wear your clothes more. Wear them in different ways. Tuck a thrifted silk slip dress into some black culottes. And maybe that silk dress’s footprint will one day be smaller than that of your pet mouse.
Stat source: Valuing Our Clothes, WRAP