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Sustainable fashion museum

12th February, 2019   |   Behind the rails

Fashion For Good museum

This place blew my mind. The ‘Fashion For Good’ sustainable fashion museum in Amsterdam showcases real solutions to fashion’s most problematic issues. Having glimpsed the future of fashion, I’m very happy to report that it looks stunning.

One of the things I loved most about this museum was it’s positivity. There were fantastically inspirational messages alongside easy actions we can all take to help bring about a more sustainable fashion world. Here are a few that really resonated with me.

Sustainable fashion top tips

  • Become a borrower
    I love the idea of renting clothes – you get a giant closet full of beautiful designer stuff worth an absolute fortune for a minuscule amount each month. HELLO! I use Wear The Walk when I need something to wear for a chi-chi occasions.
    And by renting instead of borrowing, you save up to 37k litres of water that would have gone into creating your personal wardrobe. That’s the equivalent of up to 50 years of drinking water per person. Thirsty!
  • Shop second hand
    If we bought 10% more second hand clothes instead of always buying new we could reduce carbon by 3% and water usage by 4% per tonne of clothing. And remember, you can convert those clothes so don’t worry if they’re too big or even too small, there’ll be something you can do with them if you love the fabric.
  • Convert your closet
    Yes they recommend it too! The average woman only wears 20% of her wardrobe so, before you buy your next new item, have a dig around in your closet and see what you could convert. If you need a few ideas, have a look at my How To… guides.
  • Sell what you’re not wearing and won’t convert
    Be honest with yourself. If you’re not wearing it and you won’t convert it, let someone else enjoy it. Either sell it or take it to your local charity shop.
  • Ask questions
    The more informed we are, the better choices we make. Ask the sales person where the clothes were made, look out for certifications and standards marks on labels, check online for CSR reports to see a brand’s social and environmental commitments. The more we ask questions, the more this will filter back to brand head offices. They’ll soon realise they’ll lose customers if they don’t clean up their act.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry
    The average household does almost 400 loads of laundry per year. If you saved up your washing until you had a full load you can save 19k litres of water each year – that’s the equivalent of 237 baths.
  • Filter out microfibres
    These are the tiny bits of of plastic found in synthetic materials like polyester that end up in our oceans, waterways and drinking water. Err no thanks. You can buy filters to put on your washing machine or there are bags you can wash your clothes in that prevent these nasties from getting out.
  • Dry clean consciously
    The chemicals used in dry cleaning are ridiculously harmful to the environment and contribute to air and water pollution. Did you know that most natural fibres like silk and cotton can happily be washed at home? Brands often put dry cleaning labels in clothing for no good reason other than to cover their own a**es.
  • Air dry your clothes
    Let the sun do the work. Do this and you’ll be saving an average of 360 kilowatts of energy every year, the same as powering your laptop for eight hours day for 750 days.
  • Recycle your clothes
    Look out for your local textile recycling bins or services. 95% of clothing can be recycled but a ridiculous 73% of it ends up being burned or in landfill. Burning or burying our clothes is not the answer.
  • Message your fav brands
    As customers, we are Priority Number One for brands.  Reach out and tell them what issues are important to you. The more we do this, the more companies will realise how much their customers care about social and environmental issues and that we’ll take our custom elsewhere if they don’t up their game. They can’t afford to ignore us. Literally. 

And here are a few insane facts for you. Did you know… 

  • Nearly 60% of all clothing produced ends up being burned or in landfill within one year of being made
  • 300+ million people work in the fashion industry and 80% of them are women aged between 18 and 35
  • The fashion industry releases 8% of the world’s carbon 
  • On average we buy 60% more clothing than 15 years ago but we keep each item half as long
  • In a typical wardrobe, a third of clothing has not been worn for at least one year
  • Conventional cotton production accounts for 1/6 of all pesticides used globally, impacting farmers and local communities with harmful chemicals. 
  • Polyester, one of the most commonly used fabrics, can take over 200 years to decompose.
  • It takes 2,700 litres to produce the cotton for 1 t-shirt. That’s what an average person drinks in three years.
  • 100 pairs of human hands touch our clothes before they land in ours.

Fashion For Good is a platform that connects brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders to bring about the change that’s needed in the fashion world. 

Find out more about visiting the museum

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