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#PROJECTPLANETTALKS: What’s Up with Fast Fashion? Hacks for a Sustainable Wardrobe with Buang Disini

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On the 16th of October, Project Planet ID was invited to speak about sustainable fashion with Buang Disini on IG Live, and here are the key points to take to build our very own sustainable wardrobe.



What is fast fashion and why is it bad for our environment?


Fast fashion brands see clothes on the runway and produce something similar at a fast pace, allowing consumers to keep up with the newest, trendiest items at a low cost.


Though convenient, such manufacturing style is a major reason why the fashion industry has become the second biggest pollutant in the world after oil and gas [1]. In 2015, the fashion industry alone produced 5.4% of total carbon dioxide emissions and it’s predicted that by 2025, the amount of clothes we’ve been throwing away would weigh as much as the world population today [2]. Worse, these clothes would take 200 years to decompose since 60% of it are made of plastic or synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester and acrylic [3].


Last but not least, fast fashion tends to employ workers for long hours in unsafe working conditions to minimize their production costs.


How can we change our mindset about fast fashion and practice it?

In 2015, the fashion industry alone produced 5.4% of total carbon dioxide emissions

Source: Fernand de Canne [5]


First, we need to look at sustainable, durable and high quality garments as an investment, which would help us to purchase less clothes in the long run!


How to practice it? My first tip is sharing or swapping clothes with your siblings. No cost necessary!


"I have two little sisters and we share our clothes so it feels like we have a lot of options"

You can also try upcycling your old clothes to give them a second life. That way, you can buy less or no new clothes at all!


If DIY is not your alley, you can also start renting or buying second hand. Say, you’re invited to a party. Instead of buying a new gown which will cost you a lot and one that will only sit in your wardrobe till who knows when, just rent a gown at a nearby rental place or buy secondhand online!


Lastly, you can also consider thrifting.

Read Also: Circular Fashion: A Solution to Retail's Sustainability Issue.

How do you think we can change the audience’s mindset about thrifting? Can you also share with us possible benefits and downsides?


We have to start seeing thrifting as purchasing second hand items that have quality and value.


“Personally I’ve never tried thrifting, but one of my friends purchased a high fashion branded jacket from a secondhand store….When asking the seller about the price, it turns out it was not a fake product but the price significantly dropped because there was a tear in the inside of the jacket!”

Research also shows that if everyone were to purchase one second hand item from thrift stores within one year, we can save around 6 tonnes of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to removing half a million cars from the road a year [4].


As more people are now becoming aware of the darkside of fast fashion and have begun searching for its alternatives, thrifting can become a real solution for the fashion industry’s sustainability problem.


However, there are definitely some things we have to consider when thrifting. Since some thrift stores are still using plastic bags, I highly recommend bringing our own reusable shopping bags to make our retain therapy as green as possible. More importantly, always remember to wash the clothes we purchase in warm water when you get home to make sure it's really clean because you can never be too sure.


Another thing to watch out for is ‘fake thrift stores’. I recently found out from Project Planet ID’s forum page that some thrift stores buy from fast fashion stores and resell them as if they were secondhand items, which in my opinion, doesn’t follow the true purpose of thrifting since it’s equivalent to purchasing a new item from the brand itself, so it’s definitely something we have to watch out for when thrifting.


When thrift shopping, you get such a variety of options!

Source: Prudence Earl [6]


Can you give us an example of a sustainable fashion brand and share with us your personal experience in buying from that brand?


Last month, we invited Liberty Society as one of our panel speakers in our Indonesia Green Living Festival. They are a local fashion brand who sell high quality, eco-friendly garments made by a group of refugee women. By doing this, not only does Liberty Society protect the environment by making their operations and end products sustainable, but also they are empowering women simultaneously.


“Personally, I’ve only bought from a sustainable fashion brand once and I had a very positive experience: you could see that the quality is better and the product does last longer. For example, some garments from fast fashion tend to be really thin and stretch easily but for the items from a sustainable fashion brand, the garments were not too thin and when you can feel that the items don’t stretch too easily. As a customer you actually feel proud because you’ve helped provide proper pay for their workers and chose a more sustainable option.”

Buang Disini has a sub-product called Sisa Benang, wherein we make sustainable fashion products using unused fabrics from factories. What are some ways Project Planet is supporting the sustainable fashion industry?


Other than educating our readers through articles and blog posts, we also have the Green Living Project where you can all find sustainability, including sustainable fashion brands!


Occasionally, we would also post upcycling tutorials like our DIY Tie Dye video on our Instagram IGTV.


Lastly, our community members can post any questions they have about sustainable fashion on our forum.



Any last tips for our audience today to become more sustainable with their fashion choices?


My tips are:

  1. Always check the clothes tag, they're very informative and tell you what the clothes are made of. Avoid buying clothes that mention any use of synthetic fabrics.

  2. Try upcycling while you’re at home. It’s fun and just use your creativity.

  3. Try thrifting. You’ll never know what you’ll find.

  4. If you have the money, try buying a garment from a sustainable fashion brand and feel the difference of the clothing.

Need more tips? Write in our forum HERE!

Sources:

[1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/gulnazkhusainova/2019/06/12/why-the-circular-economy-will-not-fix-fashions-sustainability-problem/#3750ae6c4d05

[2]https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/a-new-textiles-economy-redesigning-fashions-future

[3]https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/19/17800654/clothes-plastic-pollution-polyester-washing-machine

[4]https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/is-fashion-bad-for-the-environment?rebelltitem=4#rebelltitem4


Pictures:

[5] https://unsplash.com/photos/2fNMdA6a5ck

[6] https://unsplash.com/photos/8F0I12ypHPA

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