Just like an actual footprint, a carbon footprint is a polluting mark you are leaving behind on the environment. Carbon emissions aren’t just exclusive to heavy industrial sources, the fashion industry alone produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions and we are far from reversing its imminent effects. So, just how can we contribute towards reducing our personal footprints as a fashion consumer?
1. Buy less, buy smart
If you’re seeking some valid points to fill up your 2020 resolution list with, being more frugal with fashion should definitely make it to your top five. Fashion has for long romanticised the idea of excess and shopaholic behaviour, but it’s high time we paid no heed to it. When it comes to unavoidable shopping, look at making essential purchases only and work on building a capsule wardrobe — items of clothing that will never go out of style and can be easily repeated and mixed with your existing wardrobe.
2. Watch your wash cycle
The fashion industry is currently the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, with clothing and fabric manufacturers that hold a large chunk of that responsibility. As mindful consumers, doing our small bit around the household can prove surprisingly beneficial for the environment and cold wash cycles are a great way to start. An assessment from a cleaning institute estimated that a household could cut its emissions by 864 pounds of carbon per year simply by washing their laundry loads in cold water.
3. Abandon your need for speed
Online retail giants like Amazon have proudly endorsed their ability to speedily deliver your purchases through their Prime memberships, not having factored in on the carbon footprint it creates. According to an expert, the company’s package deliveries in 2017 alone emitted about 19 million metric tons of carbon — the equivalent of just under five coal power plants. This need for instant gratification has applied similar speed pressures across many independent brands as well. One of the easiest ways to combat this is by choosing the obvious slower speeds and optimising our purchases by grouping several buys into one shipment.
4. Choose better
Taking the vow to shop less is easier said than done and being constantly inundated with stylish Instagram posts on our feeds certainly doesn’t help maintain that promise either. However, as consumers, we hold a lot more power in our hands than we know. Opting for brands that use eco-friendly fabrics and supporting such brands with a clear and backed sustainable vision is a great way to reduce our carbon emissions. While a heap of brands still opt for acrylic fabrics and conventional cotton that have a far worse impact on the planet, choosing the better option instantly makes us more responsible.
5. Re-commerce is the new recycle
Second-hand, resale, swap, rent — these terms have gained much momentum lately and given rise to the revolutionary concept of re-commerce. The idea of re-commerce revolves around selling pre-owned or used goods which is one of the best ways to close the loop and reduce the harmful impact fashion has on the environment. Which is why it comes as no surprise that second-hand luxury has boomed in recent times, making it easier for high- street adopters to follow suit.
Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2019-11-22