Over the last few years I have been tracking clothing consumption. At the end of 2014 I did a wardrobe inventory. I had 45 items of clothing counting all my pairs of sock separately but all knickers as one item. Every else was counted individually.
Why the counting?In 2015 I pledged to use no more than my fair global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. I wanted to see what I already had and what I would consequently need to purchase, make or craft out of foraged balckberries.
Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. You can check my figures here.
Whats Sustainable Clothing? You can read my clothing manifesto here
Activities I realise that clothes are dependant on lifestyle so I have included a history for each year outlining what we did.
I bought 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres. (Not all clothing).
Got home in May. Parked the van ( after living in it for a year) and planned our next trip. To see Mongolia. We left the U.K. in May and travelled from Kazakhstan to Indonesia. Mostly overland only flying when there was no alternative to places where the ferries no longer run – sigh.
My clothes had to see me through monsoon, snow and blazing tropical heat. I attended a couple of reasonably smart parties. As I worked online I didn’t need a office clothes.
I made most of my backpacking wardrobe before I left. N.B. being on the road doesnt mean I can’t sew. I made my headscarf and backpackers bloomers while traveling.
Cotton Cargo Pants bought Summer 2014 Mountain Warehouse- dreadful purchase fell apart in less than a year.
Corduroy Trouser bought autumn 2014 Marks & Spencers worn almost continually in the autumn and winter of 2015. Died in the Spring of 2015 in China. Not exactly long lasting but one shouldn’t expect too much from corduroy and they did get worn a lot!
1 blue patterned Teeshirt. Bought 2013 Singapore lost by the laundry in 2015 Thailand
Gifted & Bought
- Cashmere cardigan gifted (got lucky!)
- Blue teeshirt cotton gifted
- Boho Tunic – cotton & silk home made from scraps.
- Loon Pants – cotton homemade,
- Tunic – Fair trade organic cotton striped shirt Natural Fibres, Homemade
- MuMu of Modesty fair trade organic cotton Natural Fibres, Homemade
- Baggy Trousers Natural Fibres, Homemade
- Bloomers Natural Fibres, Homemade
- headscarf Natural Fibres, Homemade
- Team Mongolia scarf /hat. Natural Fibres, Homemade
- Teeshirt from Thailand – cotton
- Synthetic Fibres
- Ridiculous coat and a new raincoat to replace it.Synthetic Fibres
- leggings Synthetic Fibres
- Crop top
I had to buy a new raincoat to replace the stupid, non-weatherproof rubbish I got from T.K.Max.
By gifted I mean something that people have passed on to me because they no longer want it. Second hand but not purchased.
When I say cotton/ natural fibres to describe shop bought, that doesn’t include buttons and other such stuff which will almost certainly be synthetic. As might be the thread used to sew the fabric. Clothes may even contain 5% synthetic fibres to maintain shape.
Sorry if that seems evasive but this is a broad brush introduction. Over the next few months I hope to refine the information but you will have probably lost interest by then!
Unless you are talking about my own homemade clothes where I can tell you exactly what plastic has been used.
- May 2014 to Christmas travelled England and Spain in a the van.
2 pairs of trousers
Tops, Cardigans & Jackets
4 no Long Sleeve Tops – cotton
1 grey – 2010
1 striped – 2009
1 blue – 2011
1 red – 2014 year
Ranging from 5 to 3 years old except the red which was bought last year.
6 no T Shirts & Vests – cotton (10)
1 grey – had for ever.
Marks & Sparks 2014 156g each – no hangers
1 pale grey
1 vest – years plus
2 no Other (12)
wool tunic that I made from woolen fabric I have had for years. I have been wearing that for 18 months? Possibly longer.
Cotton shirt bought in India 2011
2 no Warmer wear & Coats (14)
1 synthetic jacket pre 2011
1 nylon raincoat pre 2011
4 no. Bottoms (18)
Shorts Summer 2014 Synthetic Fibres
Trackie bums cotton don’t know how old – over a year.
Thin long trews hot thin cotton bought Summer 2014
Thick long trews cold corduroy Autumn 2014 Marks & Spencers
1 no Skirts & Dresses (19)
Linen dress made for Observer Awards 2014
Underwear & Sleep
I have counted knickers as one because for some reason I feel shy about telling you how many pairs of pants I own!?
Philippino pirate pants
M&S sometime last year
France 2014 a pack of knickers
2 no Bras (21)
1 reasonable bought spring 2014 synthetic fibres
1 utterly awful that I only wear when the reasonable one is in the wash. At least 2 years old
4 no Socks (25)
2 thin pairs of socks – new before we left – gift.
2 thick pairs of sock – made by my mum.
5 no Sleep & Swim (32)
- 1 nightgowns warm
- 1 nightgown cool 2014 M&S
- 1 Merino long johns 3 years at least
- 2 bikinis years old– all synthetic
- Towelling dressing gown
- thin cotton dressing gown
7 no Outerwear Hats & Shawls (39)
1 wool hat 2013
1 straw hat 2014
1 wool scarf gift 2013
3 pairs of gloves
1 no shawl
2 no Work in progress (41)
Spotty dress work in progress bought from charity shop
Sleeveless long vest / sleeveless tunic most cotton bought in Malaysia 2011
4 no In storage (The cupboard we don’t talk about) (46)
1 smart – wool years old
1 very warm sheepskin second hand ages ago
2 waterproof walking coat- synthetic years old
1 raincoat – synthetic cant even remember when