Recent studies have shown that textile waste is the second largest pollutant in the world. It is also estimated that 73 per cent of all our clothes end up in landfills for reasons like the lack of collection systems and ineffective redistribution. Also, how do you ignore the massive carbon footprint that is created due to the worldwide shipping?
In light of all this information, last week, I took a huge decision—one of the most important ones in recent memory, actually.
I decided to quit fast fashion altogether.
It wasn’t easy: I am obsessed with fashion and realised that this would be quite a difficult task for me. So, I came up with a fun solution to help me navigate this journey—instead of purchasing clothes, I would get them stitched!
Although this requires a lot more effort from my side, I am excited to see what I will help create with only my imagination.
How do I plan to do this? Glad you asked!
1) Choose Sustainable Fabrics
The first step was to pick out the fabrics for the clothes I was planning to stitch. Since I was on the path for a completely eco-friendly switch, I decided to choose fabrics that were both good for me and the planet like organic cotton.
The best place to source your fabrics would be a flea market, and once there, ensure that you opt for fabrics like jute, cotton, or hemp that are biodegradable and are completely natural.
I also made sure to pick the fabric from the ‘cut-piece section.’ Most fabric outlets have this section in a corner, and the bits of fabric, are sold off at very low prices.
2) Empower Local Tailors
Finding the right tailor who gets your design ideas and can stitch your fabric perfectly is quite a task. The best way to find the perfect tailor is through conversations– you could try asking your friends or try asking for suggestions on social media.
This is the trial-and-error stage of your journey. You may hit the bull’s eye and find the best tailor possible right at the start, or take some time to find one—but don’t give up. By opting for a local tailor, you are opening up their employment opportunities and empowering them. And once you’ve found the right tailor, remember to spread the word!
3) Your Clothes, Your Creation
The moment you get your perfectly stitched clothes, you’ve helped create something exclusive to your style and with some sentimental value. At the same time, you have also cut down on your carbon footprint, and the reduced the textile waste that goes into the landfills.
What’s better? The amount you have spent on stitching a dress is literally half of what you would have paid at a fast-fashion store!
4) Fix and Repair
While you’re getting new clothes stitched, it’s crucial to remember to fix and repair your old ones. Be it a minor tear in your skirt, or the top with the missing button, it’s essential to fix them and let them run for a year or two before you discard them.
Interested in doing this too? If yes, best of luck and let me know if these tips worked for you!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)