Our shopping habitClothing is an issue that has come to my notice recently. Plastic is not our only problem. I’m still thinking it through, but these are some initial thoughts.

For ages, we’ve already been talking about micro plastics, and reducing the plastic pollution by washing less, and getting cotton and other natural fibres. I’m no follower of fashion, but it seems this impacts me, too. Although most of what I have is mainly cotton, I do like my fleece tops. And there are several items in my wardrobe bought on a whim yet rarely worn. I was unaware of the trouble with cotton.

It was interesting to hear how cheap gas from fracking in the US is accelerating the production of plastic in the UK, and more plastic toys come from McDonalds than anywhere else *in the world*. (Watch War on Plastic episode 3) I wonder if that has influenced the availability of cheap synthetic fabrics?

There has been some awareness and discussion of the sheer disposability of clothing these days, how it ends up in piles of waste and how to move away from this to a lower consumption model. Indeed, not just plastic, or clothes, but *everything*. Charity shops help, of course – a place to buy, or leave unwanted, clothes. (If what you no longer want is only suitable to be thrown, bag them up and take to your local charity shop and tell them it’s for rags. They can still get money for them!) And buying better quality rather than cheap stuff. Less is more. And how cheap clothes depend on cheap labour (often children) and poor conditions.

Today I discovered that the clothing industry is one of the major world sources of pollution and environmental degradation.  All in the name of cheap clothes we can wear a few times and discard. This documentary on the BBC by Stacey Dooley has been an eye-opener. (It’s from 8 Oct 2018, and is still available as of 25 June 2019.)

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion’s Dirty Secrets

Although they decided to look into the problem, the Government response this month (June 2019) wasn’t impressive.

Climate Change is still debated by some, in spite of the overwhelming evidence of science. It’s not very visible. But the cavalier way we are generally trashing the planet in many ways is so visibly obvious, I can’t imagine anyone denies it. Yet we don’t stop – why?

  • I didn’t realise what is happening
  • Don’t care, someone else’s problem
  • It’s too big, nothing I can do
  • Ostrich complex: if I ignore it, maybe it will go away
  • Other more important things on my mind

Maybe if enough of us take notice and do something, we can make a difference.