Recently there has been a lot of publicity about the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry (for example, here is just one article). Many people buy new clothes every season, which causes problems including pollution (from the production processes and from microfibres being shed from synthetic fabrics during the wash) and waste (from clothing thrown away after being worn for only one season or even one event or one selfie).
One of the best ways to reduce your fashion footprint is to shop second hand where you can. (This is easy in Edinburgh, a city with many excellent second hand shops, but can be trickier in some places and was more difficult during lockdown with all the second hand shops being closed, though it is possible to buy second hand clothes online).
I buy all my clothes second hand (apart from underwear and some footwear). I used to always buy shoes new until I found that shoe shops were no longer stocking shoes I liked, so now I buy second hand shoes, except for my hiking boots which I always buy new.
The great thing about browsing second hand shops is that you never know what you're going to find! I've found smart business jackets, hippy style skirts, casual long sleeved t-shirts and goth glamour in the over 30 years I've been shopping second hand. Here's the outfit I posted recently for my Pollution is Pants post back in April
Second Hand September is all about celebrating second hand clothing! Can you commit, for the whole month, to buying only second hand clothes online or in your local second hand shop? And don't forget to donate your pre-loved items! Find out more about Second Hand September here.
Finally, here are some other ways to reduce the impact of your own clothing. Here are just a few:
Avoid fabrics with a high environmental footprint, such as non-organic cotton, leather and synthetic fibres
Choose organic cotton and other natural fabrics that are produced without toxic chemicals
Choose brands that are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact
Wash your clothes less often and only at 30 degrees
Buy less, choose well and make it last