Let’s talk fashion. Specifically, the fact that at $3 trillion and counting the impacts of the apparel industry go well beyond just your wallet. In a world soon to be of 9 billion consumers actively buying manufactured goods, and the population of the global middle class estimated double in size to nearly 5 billion by 2030, the constraints on resources and the environmental impacts will be enormous unless we can find ways to rethink manufacturing and consumption. This week we're sharing some ideas to get you thinking about how you can more consciously consume, because it truly does matter.
1. Reuse + Repurpose:
We love a good sale and we're suckers for the latest fashions like everyone else, but we also believe it's important to weigh the true cost of our purchases.
Each year an estimated 15 million tons of clothing are thrown away and end up in landfill + consumers have around $50 billion worth of clothing hanging in their wardrobes that hasn’t been worn for a year or more. Optimizing the end-of-life cycle for garments through reuse, recycling and shreds (unravelled or chopped up textiles put to reuse) is a win/win for all of us... including the planet.
2. Buy Smarter. Buy Less:
It's super tempting to indulge in the latest this or that, but how many clothes do you actually need - and how many that you buy do you actually wear?
We are constantly looking for ways we can reduce our impact like designing for growth; something as simple as fold back cuffs can make that merino thermal last your fast growing child three years instead of one; dresses with the right proportions can gracefully transform from dress to tunic on your growing daughter. Ask yourself, how much do I really need? And how can I be smarter about what I do buy?
3. Rethink Clean:
At some point we all got brainwashed into thinking that clothes must be washed after every. single. wear. but it's simply not true.
The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry per year using about 23 gallons of water per wash. Now, multiply that over the 125M households in the U.S. and the amount of water we're all using becomes staggering. Weird as it sounds, try putting not so dirty once worn skirts, trousers and dresses in a ziplock bag and place in your freezer overnight - the low temp kills bacteria & clothes feel fresh all over again. Or, invest in some Nui Merino and pat yourself on the back for making one of the smartest purchases you'll ever score with the least amount of maintenance!
4. Look For Local or Sustainable:
We obsess over what we put into our bodies, but how often do you consider what you put on it?
Globally, the apparel industry is still rife with heavy pollution, monumental waste, poor working conditions and a thriving slave trade. Buying sustainable, organic and/or local empowers companies and manufacturers who care, the ability to offer us clothing choices that literally change what's happening in the world. As consumers, how we spend, collectively, does make a difference. What greater gift can we give our children than a clean healthy place in which to grow?
5. Fuss Over Fabric:
Considered the world's dirtiest crop due to its extensive use of pesticides, cotton accounts for 25% of all pesticide use in the U.S.. and more than 80% are GMO crops.
It's time to think beyond fast and disposable fashion. Respect for both people and planet has always been at the core of the Nui brand. As much as possible we use certified organic materials and production methods, work with factories that mirror our environmental and social philosophies and constantly seek to improve. But it's not just us anymore. Make an effort to look and you'll find many major retailers jumping on the sustainable bandwagon, leaving you with no excuse to not do the same!