Clothes and Textiles Let’s Be Part of the Solution

So, I have just spent the morning reading this fun little piece of literature “National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme, Milestone 1.4 | Clothing Data Report” by the Australian Fashion Council. Fun times.

Textile waste has been concerning me (and many others), for a while now, but I have a particular interest in one element of it…getting unwanted clothes out of our wardrobes and back onto the second-hand market. It’s part of my constant desire to declutter in order to free up valuable resources and reduce waste.

It is estimated that Australians, on average, buy 56 new items of clothing per year. That means some of us are buying a lot more and some a lot less, but with 26,439,111 people in Australia that adds up to a lot of clothes.

56 new pieces per year x 26,439,111 people = 1,480,590,216 new pieces of clothing per year!!

A few years ago I started keeping a record of my purchases, which has allowed me to do a little research on myself. Now, I am not big into fashion or clothes, I only own 2 pairs of heels and 4 handbags. You can check out my wardrobe audit here if you like.

But I do like to look nice, I cannot cope with scratchy or uncomfortable clothing and I like my clothes to look neat (mostly) and be in good condition.

To maximise the life of my clothes I only wash them when they are actually dirty and I never tumble dry (I line dry them outside whenever possible, inside otherwise). I mend holes or tears quickly and I’m happy to use visible mending techniques – in fact, I like it as my clothes become unique.

So, in 2021, I purchased 16 new pieces of clothing and 4 new pairs of shoes (I hate shoe shopping so when I find something I like I often buy several pairs).  A lot less than the average, but still a lot for someone who dislikes shopping and is happy to regularly re-wear outfits.

If everyone purchased 16 new pieces per year…

16 x 26,439,111 = 423,025,776 new items per year

Try this at home…

What’s in your wardrobe? Why not estimate how many pieces of clothing you think you own, then collect all your clothing from everywhere in your house, car, office, laundry, etc., and see how close you were. I was wrong by almost half and I have many more clothes than I realised.

Go here to see how to do your own wardrobe audit and then check out the next 3 articles for where wearable clothes can go, what you can do with unwearable clothes and where to recycle clothes as a last resort. If you need a hand, I am always happy to help, as decluttering is one of my absolute favourite things to do. Check out our website here for more details on this service, call 0411556407 or email to book.