In another 30 years, India will be brimming with urban waste. Your shopping habits can make a difference!
With the end of season sales doing the rounds, it’s quite impossible to resist the urge to get that one top or that shiny blazer you’ve been eyeing for a while.
Although walking out of the store with a bunch of shopping bags is quite the dreamy picture, the reality of where these clothes end up in the long run, is quite different.
As per a report in a fashion magazine, 73% of discarded clothes end up in landfills, that are brimming with so much urban waste that by 2050, India will require one the size of New Delhi to fit all of the waste it produces.
So, can you, and by extension, your wardrobe, make a difference? Yes. Read on to know how.
1. Mend and Swap
You have to admit that most of the clothes in your wardrobe haven’t seen the light of day because of a lost button or a small tear. Well, it’s time to dedicate a weekend exclusively to mend these clothes. So stitch, darn and sew up and add some ‘new’ clothes to your wardrobe.
Another great idea is to swap! If you’re tired of wearing the same old dress or are convinced that the orange top makes you look ghastly, don’t buy new clothes—trade them for new ones!
Many swap events and platforms have opened up in the past few months to reduce waste generated through clothes.
Exchange Room founded by NIFT graduates, Sai Sangeet Paliwal and Prithvi Rao is one such platform where you can barter your clothes. The curation team decides the value of the garments given depending on various factors like quality, style and brand.
There are also online swap shops available like Rehash and This for That where you can post pictures of your clothes and exchange.
2. Buy better, buy less
A significant step to reduce clothing waste would be to buy better. Quite a large number of companies have taken the step to go zero waste and generate clothes from recycled fabric.
Pomogrenade is one such ethical brand founded by Madhulikha Umapathy & Aiswarya S Kutty where all the fabric used is upcycled and locally sourced. The clothes are also locally produced in a fair trade manufacturing unit that provides employment opportunities to the underprivileged.
You can browse through a range of apparel from Pomogrenade here.
Rimagined, on the other hand, has created a range of products from denim, like laptop bags, laptop sleeves and bedspreads, which contributes to saving up almost 1800 gallons of water. You can find these uber cool denim products from Rimagined here.
Saahas Zero Waste, based in Bangalore, alongside creating products from textile waste also provides waste management services for residences and institutions and also provides training programmes to communities.
Supporting and contributing to sustainable designers and ventures like these generate employment opportunities and help a great deal in controlling the annual textile waste generated.
3. If you can’t beat ’em, upcycle ’em!
If your clothes have reached a state where they can’t be fixed, and there’s no way out, it’s time to repurpose your clothes into something even better.
There are tons of ways to get crafty and convert your clothes into cushion covers, bandanas, cute tote bags and yes, if nothing works out, you can cut them up and use it as scrap kitchen towels. Some sustainable brands like these have even taken on upcycling as their selling point!
4. Rent your way through
The enormous amount of waste and the carbon footprint generated have also got fast-fashion brands thinking for solutions to stay sustainably stylish.
Some of them are also planning to launch rental services for their customers to shop and return a maximum of 3 pieces at a time for a nominal price and switch entirely to sustainable fabrics.
Besides mainstream brands, there are various other online rental clothing services like Flyrobe, Swishlist and Wrap’d, which allow customers to rent an unlimited number of clothes for up to a month.
Here’s to a minimal and zero waste wardrobe in 2020!
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(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)