‘Single-use’ was named the Word of the Year for 2018 by the Collins Dictionary. Now that we know the oceans are choking with plastics, disposable has become a dirty word. We also know, there is no away. Nothing that uses synthetic materials is ‘disposable’ – it has to go somewhere. Out of site, out of mind is a total copout. But what about so-called "disposable fashion"?
Single-use fashion is perhaps a stretch – but we’re not a million miles away. Clothing usability is declining. Stats vary, but according the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago. In the US clothes are worn for around a quarter of the global average. The same pattern is emerging in China, where clothing utilisation has decreased by 70% over the last 15 years ago.
Do you know how much fashion we throw away?
Clothing production about doubled during that time; we now produce around 100 billion garments a year. Of the total fibre input used, 87% ends up landfilled or incinerated.
Why have we become so wasteful and how can we turn it around? This week’s guest thinks we need to reconnect with fashion's soul. She is Christina Dean, fashionwaste warrior and the founder of Redress, a Hong Kong-based NGO that works to reduce fashion waste. A former journalist, Christina is also the co-author of Dress [with] Sense (a consumer guide for the conscious closet), and the hosts of documentary series, Frontline Fashion.
Our shownotes are packed with links and extra information.
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.
Love the podcast? We have a Patreon page - every little bit helps us keep telling these stories.
We are always grateful for ratings and reviews on iTunes. Don't forget to hit subscribe.