January is a time of self reflection and looking forward. Stop this, start that, a time to shed the skin of the previous year and grow a new better one for the year ahead. Is this the month we embark on our caterpillar metamorphosis before blooming into beautiful butterflies in the spring? All this self reflection is exhausting! I wonder did you stick to your 2018 New Years resolutions? Can you even remember them?
If you want to stick to your new year resolutions in 2019, do yourself a favour and make sure they are worth while.
2018 brought us the joy of flossing, leopard print, a royal wedding and obsessing over Love Island to name but a few.
But there were heartfelt and moving wake up calls too. Our national treasure David Attenborough shook us to the core with his Drowning in Plastic documentary and the awful revelation that 8m tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year where it is lethal.
The other shocking revelation of 2018 is that fashion is one of the world’s largest polluters and textile production uses more greenhouse gases than airlines and shipping combined. Stacey Dooley’s Documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets lifted the lid on how clothes are wrecking the planet. A new level of fashion-focused scrutiny has crashed into the limelight upon a wave of heightened environmental awareness and activism. The truth is fast fashion lures us into buying more clothes than we need.
Globally, we’re producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year, and the planet cannot sustain that.
Cotton, which is the most used fibre in textiles produced in the EU and totals 43% of all clothing sold, might not sound like an extreme polluter in the way coal or oil is. However, the production process includes pesticides used in cotton farming, toxic dyes in manufacturing – and the huge amount of natural resources used, like water, is causing significant shortages.
Another big issue to do with the cheap garment industry is the chemical waste discarded during manufacturing. Indonesia is an international hub for clothes production. On the banks of the Citarum River, there are over 400 factories, and activists say many are releasing toxic chemicals every day into waterways across the region.
So in 2019, clearly we need to buy some stuff but we can reduce our impact if we make a resolution to stop over consuming. Simple.
In fashion terms we need to consume less fast fashion now. We’re not all of a sudden going to kick our shopping addiction but our habits need to change. Sustainability is key both in terms of buying quality and ethical items and also in terms of prolonging the lifespan of your garments. Repair, recycle, upcycle.
So where to start on this sustainable journey? Easy – our own wardrobe! Prepare to be Kondo-ed with the Konmari decluttering method by Japanese tidy expert Marie Kondo (if you haven’t seen this on Netflix what the hell have you been doing?). She is helping us wade through all our crap and decide what items spark joy. One of the beauties of this decluttering process is you will find items you have forgotten about that do indeed spark joy. For those garments that don’t, please be responsible in ensuring they go to a good home via eBay, Depop, friends, family, clothes recycling centres and charity shops.
But really just stop buying all this stuff. Quality over quantity should be your 2019 resolution. The only solution to our waste crisis is to halt the fast consumerism clogging our landfills, polluting our oceans and overcrowding our homes. Because what would really spark joy would be a world that isn’t overflowing with rubbish.
At Lux Boutique Outlet we are helping high end fashion businesses sell their left over designer fashion garments – we aim to ensure all our items are sold to a good home where they spark joy. And the quality of our garments means that when you make a conscious decision to buy a discounted designer item, you can keep it and love it forever.
So grab your reusable travel cup and reusable water bottle and make a pledge that you will buy less and choose well in 2019.