Did you know Australians buy an average of 27kgs of new clothing and textiles each year and throw away 23kgs into landfill? Most of the discarded garments are made of man-made, synthetic/plastic fibres that may never breakdown.
This is why it’s important to rethink our waste footprint and borrow, swap, share and repair when you can.
Rethinking our fashion waste footprint
Reducing how much clothing we consume and use is the easiest way to minimise excess waste that ends up in landfill. This means thinking twice before we buy something new and reassessing how we buy, what and why, and considering alternatives that may be better for us, our wallets and our environment.
Tips and tricks
1. Rethink buying for one-off occasions
If you’re thinking about buying something new for a special occasion consider swapping or borrowing from friends and family members, rather than buying new clothing that is only worn a handful of times.
You can also save time and money by renting something for a once-off occasion from friends or family.There are also many places that offer this, but two located in Yarra are Rose Chong’s Costumier for fancy dress and Something Borrowed for formal wear.
2. Buy local, buy second-hand clothing
Buy high-quality, second-hand items - less often - to reduce your need to buy things new.
Yarra has lots of vibrant local businesses who reuse or repurpose clothing in creative ways. To discover a few, visit Yarra’s Zero Waste Map to locate a range of vintage, retro and second-hand clothing options.
3. Care, repair and reuse your clothing
Look after your clothes by following care instructions.
Investing in small repairs can also be a cost-effective way to make your clothing last longer, or bring clothing that may not fit quite right back to life.
4. Recycle your unwanted clothing
If you are overhauling your wardrobe or making space for new items, make sure you dispose of your unwanted clothing correctly. Clothing can be recycled and reused in many ways, but not through the regular kerbside recycling collection.
There are many second-hand clothing shops where you can recycle unwanted clothing. To find your closest clothing recycling service visit Planet Ark's Recycling Near You website.
- Yarra’s Zero Waste Map – Find second-hand clothing outlets in Yarra
- Buy Nothing New Month campaign – How to buy nothing new
- Sustainability Victoria – How to reduce, reuse and recycle your unwanted clothing