Because clothes are so cheap & because Primark is the new Prada, we have started buying more clothes than ever before. Women’s clothes in Britain rose by 21% between 2001 & 2005 alone, to about £24 billion, spurred by lower prices, and the fact that stores now bring new stock to the shop floor every month rather than every season.
We love the fact that we can now buy armfuls of clothes – several outfits – for the same price we used to pay for a single item.
It’s no coincidence that the minimum wage of garment workers in Bangladesh halved in real terms during the 1990s. Machinists in Bangladesh are receiving as little as £8 per month to produce cheap clothes for British consumers – that’s a third of the minimum living wage.
How to get the most out of your wardrobe
1. Give you’re wardrobe an airing, swap the things you wear most frequently for ones you’ve forgotten about, and wait for the compliments.
2. Face up to the fact that there are items you are never, ever going to wear again.
3. If you find clothes that you really don’t want, but that you think someone else you know might like, organise a clothes swapping – or swishing – party. It is important to invite friends who you know might like your cast-offs but also remember to invite friends whose style you admire. You never know what they might bring!
4. Divide your cast-offs into separate piles for charity, customising, alterations and repairs.
5. If you have good clothes that you would like to sell, you can’t put them on eBay or there are some really good clothes exchanges that will give you a good price for them.
6. Old clothes that aren’t good enough to sell can be given to your favourite charity (although we are getting rid of so many clothes now that charity shops are getting very picky).
7. Alternatively, put your discarded clothes in a bag & post them in a textile recycling bin like Traid’s.
8. And if you want some fun (and a lovely warm feeling inside) it’s worth joining your local freecycle community or whatismineisyours. You never know what your neighboughs might like, or what they might give away.
This article was taken from Green is the New Black by Tamsin Blanchard.