It seems that what we eat is fast becoming a hot topic with great concern over promoting foods which benefit health. At the same time, we pay little attention to what we wear.
Our desire for cheap clothing has influenced the clothing industry and we are aware of the human tragedy unfolding in sweat shops as we see scenes from factories on our TV screens. The reality of cheap fashion is that in order for us to purchase an item of clothing for a few pounds, corners have to be cut, health and safety is placed to one side and environmental considerations are almost certainly ignored. So how do we combat this and make a positive statement?
Well, Ballymoney Borough Council’s Recycling and Education Officer Declan Donnelly is practising what he preaches with a promise to not purchase any new clothing for 12 months, shopping exclusively in charity shops locally and primarily with Barnardos.
Declan added: “We cannot ignore the fact that the conditions required for the production of cheap clothing are harmful to workers. The cotton industry is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of 16,000 people annually. On top of this each home in the UK owns an estimated £4,000 worth of clothing with some 30% being unworn in the last 12 months. I’ve decided to put myself to the test, shopping only from charity shops for the next 12 months! This will be a challenge but I know that by planning ahead and working with my key partner, Barnardos in Ballymoney, I can make this a success, dress well and save a few pounds in the process.”
For some, this may be a massive step but there are loads of things we can all do to contribute. Why not consider any of the following:
Wash at 30ºC
By washing your clothes at 30°C you save on your energy bills. 85% of the energy used during a 60°C wash goes into heating the water. Washing at lower temperatures also helps clothes to last longer and retain colour
Embrace Swishing, invite your friends over and ask them to bring unloved clothing so that someone else can fall in love with it. Everyone goes home with a revived wardrobe.
Buy from or donate to a charity shop
Check out your local charity shop next time you feel in the mood for a shopping spree. Why not donate one good quality item at the same time?
Buy to last
If you really can’t resist buying something new, make sure it’s made to last, and under fair working conditions. This may be expensive initially but why not save for that special item or add it to present wish lists?
Recycle clothes which are stained, worn or torn which you may otherwise have put in the bin, just tell the charity shop it’s for recycling.
For more information on this, contact Declan Donnelly at the Council on 2766 0257 or drop into Barnardos, Ballymoney any time.