By Bridjett O'keeffe, August 5, 2019

Read time: 2 Mins

Fast Image


for clothes was once considered a special event.

Now we live in a society where we’re pushed to consume cheap fashion, buying and disposing of more than ever.

This industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Second only to oil. Now let that sink in.

In Australia alone 500,000 tones of textiles and leather end up in landfill every year. Synthetic fibres like polyester, nylon, and lycra take 200 years to break down. And the current state of the fashion industry is exploiting thousands of people, some factories only paying a wage equivalent of 2 Australian dollars per week.

This is not okay.

But we can do some things about it:

Buy second hand. Hit up your local car boot sale, flea market, op shop, vintage store, or garage sale. The bargains alone are worth it.

Wear and repair. We need to treat our clothes like the good friends they are. They’re a means to express ourselves, and we should buy them with the intention of keeping them for a few years. If they get damaged, fix them, or take them to your local alteration shop.

Wash less. We don’t need to wash our clothes every time we wear them. By reducing the amount we wash, it extends their life and massively reduces the amount of energy used. A great way to clean your clothes (especially denim) without a washing machine is to spot clean, pop them in a freezer bag, then into the freezer – it gets rid of all smells.

Swap with ya mates. We all get over clothes and want something new to wear, that’s just the society we live in. But have you ever thought to trade some pieces with your pals? This way we save our dollars, save the planet, get to hang out with our besties, and get new threads to wear.

Choose natural fibres. Every time you wash synthetic fabric, little fibres fall out of your garments and head down the drain. This creates huge amounts of micro-plastics in our oceans. Natural fibres are breathable, more durable, and biodegradable. No more static shocks or smelly sweat, plus they take less energy to create. Hemp is best, organic cotton second, then bamboo.

Shop ethical. There are so many amazing brands doing good things and creating sustainable fashion. We as consumers need to back them. The more we support these brands, the more we’re creating a revolution. Millions of people making small changes collectively makes a massive difference. A great website to check what brands are worth your dollars is: Good On You.

Bit by bit we can all help.

Return to issues