designer and researcher

Read it and weep

This is a very interesting article about textile and clothing waste in the UK.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article5332366.ece

It actually mentions the waste generated from the production process, which i was surprised to see.

“As well as using up resources, the production process itself adds to the world’s landfills by generating waste by-products. As a nation we buy 460 million new T-shirts a year. Every one that we chuck on the tip will join the almost half a kilo of waste that it took to create it.”

And this quote from Dr Julian Allwood, a lecturer at the Institute of Manufacturing and co-ordinator of the Institute’s Sustainable Manufacturing Group

“If we spent exactly double the amount of money on each garment and bought exactly half as many garments, nobody would be impoverished by that.”

This is such a simple idea but one that so many people struggle with. I don’t understand the appeal of cheap nasty throw away clothes – most people could probably do very well with even 1/3 of the clothes they own.

A post-grad student of mine Charlotte Little for her final year project wore the same dress every day for 209 days – similar to The Brown Dress project and others, she then designed her end of year collection from this experience to be a group of garments that could fit her life and style perfectly, garments she would wear and keep until they fell apart, and then because they were made of organic fibres and dyed using beetroot and turmeric etc, she could compost them.  She said it changed her perception of needs and wants. Beyond the clothes you need to keep you warm and culturally appropriate, what do you really need? Hmm.

The Constant Question rears it’s annoying head – Why make anything at all if it is just contributing more stuff we don’t need to an environment that doesn’t need it?  arrgh.

Advertisements

One response

  1. this is spot on. i wear clothes made mostly from reclaimed fabrics, dyed using plant dyes, patched and repatched. when they’re beyond redemption i use them as weed stifling mats. wool in particular is an excellent slow release nitrogen rich fertilizer

    keep up the writing, it’s worth reading!

    October 9, 2009 at 6:17 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s