Yesterday I walked into H&M on a hunt for some flipflops for my upcoming holiday. While I was there I noticed their Long Live Fashion campaign. The idea is that H&M customers bring in their unwanted clothes, for every bag they hand in they get a voucher of £5 to spend on your next purchase of £30 or more. I thought this was a fantastic idea, and am really impressed with the actions H&M is taking to make their organisation as sustainable and ethical as possible, you can see what they have been up to here. Plus, they have launched the fantastic new 'Conscious' range, supplying clothes made from sustainable fabrics. You can see some of my favourite picks from this line above!
The reason this is so interesting to me, is because about 3 years ago I made the decision to stop buying clothes from un-ethical sources. I banned myself from shopping on the high street and only allowed myself to buy second hand clothes or from ethical clothing lines. You may ask "What led to this madness of which you speak?!"
The answer would be 2 brilliant and revealing books;
Eco-Chic by Matilda Lee
Green is the New Black by Tamsin Blanchard
Unfortunately after about a year I slipped somewhat back in to my old ways, but I want to take this opportunity to remind myself why I did it in the first place, and also make others more aware of the fashion industry and exactly what they are buying into!
At the time, I was working in the waste industry, and the most painful thing for me to see was the amount of clothing that is simply being sent to landfill! I find it unthinkable that anyone would put their clothing in the bin rather than a clothing bank/fabric bank or giving it to a charity shop. I guess it is all about awareness, and hopefully this is growing! Here are a few stats you may find interesting from eco-chic;
- 2 million shoes are thrown in UK rubbish bins every week.
- We throw away approximately 220 million black bags worth of textiles every year.
- If everyone in the uk bought 1 reclaimed woollen garment a year, it would save an average of 1.686 million litres of water and 480 tonnes of chemical dyestuffs.
Craziness no? If you are interested in the fashion industry at all, I would strongly recommend you read these books. In fact, I think everyone should read them!
From now on I am going to be aware of what I buy, waste less, try to support as many ethical businesses as I can, try to buy secondhand and maybe even try to make some clothes for myself! Why not join me in my little campaign by taking a bag of unwanted clothes to H&M, and using your £5 voucher on something from their Conscious range?
It is unrealistic to expect everyone to stop buying from their favourite clothes shops, but I think (I hope) that most people would be willing to cut down, and maybe buy from a few more ethical shops or clothing lines to show their support.
What are your views on this issue? Do any of you buy from ethical shops or have any tips?
This post was not sponsored by H&M or any other company, all views are completely my own.