So you've watched the True Cost, now what?
When I first became aware of the scale of issues in the fast fashion industry, I felt empowered and determined to do something, yet at the same time overwhelmed. What difference could I really make in an industry so huge?
My advice to you, from what I've learnt over the last few years is simply to start somewhere.
You might not, at the moment, have the solution to cleaning up the textile waste in the world, or have enough money to invest more into the factories in Bangladesh. But you do buy clothes.
This is where we can all begin.
So first things first. Before we begin to make a change to our shopping lives it's important to know just how much an impact our clothe-wearing, shopping habits are having.
In my wardrobe I have approximately 80 items of clothing - (undies not included).
The average cotton top will go through various stages of production before it reaches the shop floor ready for you to buy; from Farming the Seed to Ginning - Spinning - Knitting/ Weaving - Dying - Cutting and Sewing - Transporting.
Find out more about the processes of making a cotton top at Know the Origin
Lets for example imagine there was one person working on a piece of clothing at every stage of production. That's 7 people per item and in my case, 560+ individuals involved in making the clothes in my wardrobe.
That's 560+ peoples lives I have reached through buying clothes!
Now lets think about how many clothes I've thrown away. Although I've still held onto a number of items from my teen-years, most of my clothing has changed.
What have I done with my old clothes. Well most of them have gone to charity shops, some cut up into rags.. but ultimately I know where they're all headed in the end... the landfill.
So what can you learn from this?
Your shopping has an impact.
I'd recommend you take a look inside your wardrobe, count up how many clothes you have. What do your clothes say about the way you shop? Are you an impulse buyer, or do you treasure items that have a certain memory/ meaning to them.
It's from here that we can start to decide what sort of shoppers we'd like to become.