In 2015 I pledged to  use no more than my fair global share of fibres and they had to be sustainably sourced. I was trying to determine what is a reasonable amount of clothing.

Whats a global share?

Rough calculations would suggest that the average amount of fibres per annum, for every person in the world, works out at 11.74 kg per person This is for everything – clothes, bedding, fabrics used in manufacturing, furnishings, businesses. All our fabric needs.
of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres.
As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.
Just so you know a kingsize double duvet cover from Ikea weighs in at 991 grams and a Marks & Spencer short-sleeved tee-shirt is 156 grams.

Why not use 11 .74 kg of natural fibres? I would argue that it is not sustainable for us all to have 11.74 kg of natural fibres a year. This is one of the promoted benefits of plastic, that it takes the pressure off natural resources. Synthetic fabrics mean less land grab to grow cotton. But synthetic fabrics like any other plastic are massively polluting.

So if we cannot produce more, we have to consume less.  This is how the equation works for me:
We cannot exceed current levels of production:
We cannot expect others to want less than we have:
We cannot swamp the market with synthetics:
Therefore I have to live with my global share of natural fibres.Which is still probably to generous to be fully sustainable.

You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Whats Sustainable Clothing?
Plastic-free, fair-trade, ethically made and lots more.You can read my clothing manifesto here
You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Second Hand Clothes
Can I buy or accept second hand clothes to supplement my allowance? No. I can buy second-hand but it has to count as part of my allowance.
Unless they are from someone else participating in the scheme like Ami.

Double The Fun, better with two.

This year Ami decided to join me in in fabric rationing. Though he buys so little it would be more true to say he has decided to document how much (little), he uses.

which overjoys me.

Why am I so pleased that Ami is joining in? Well apart from the obvious reasons outlined above, I have my eye on those 2 pairs of jeans he bought at the beginning of the year. Ami cannot resist a bargain which makes him easy to fleece. He needed one pair of jeans but there was a special deal on two pairs. So he bought them both. I keep telling him it’s not a bargain if you don’t need them.
Add to that, every time he travels he looses weight. He now has two pairs of jeans which won’t fit him by the time he gets back home. However if I diet like a good un they might just fit me. Then I get two pairs of jeans for free. Because they have already been counted as part of his global share they can’t be counted again as part of mine. Which puts me way ahead for 2018.
If everyone participated, clothes swapping, hand-me-downs and remaking would be an integral part of the global fair share system. And of course clothes would be made to last so all of the above would be realistic options. What a wonderful world it would be.

This Year

Activities I realise that clothes are dependant on lifestyle so I have included a history for each year outlining what we did.

Spain in Winter
I needed warm as were were spending January in Spain. Contrary to popular opinion it can get very cold. Despite this the houses are not built for the cold and what with the tiled floors and wall and high ceilings can get pretty uncomfortable. can Warm lounge wear is the order of the day.
I bought a pair of cashmere pyjamas from TK Max They consist of a jumper which is really rather nice and could be worn out normally and a pair of long johns ditto. They were rather expensive but is my last experience of cashmire, the big scarf, has been extremely positive I thought it was worth the money. Also when researching for all wool leggings I found they were all expensive.
These though described as pyjamas and can be worn round the house. I spent many happy hour both during the day and night sleeping and lounging in my cashmere pyjamas and they  stood up to it well.


Bought Clothes
cashmere pyjamas weigh in at 517 g
My cardigan is falling apart so I bought a new cotton cardigan from TK max Pure cotton it weighs in at 187 g
My green skinny fit trousers  from Marks & Spencer’s 357g
My sarong weighs in at 212 g From Indonesia pure cotton very thin very beautiful.

Made Clothes
Boiled wool shrug 417
Silk tunic 245
Liberty dress 218
Billy Bunter shorts 168
grey silk wool mix trousers 275

I will be posting more info on all my  clothes later in the year.

Total so far 2.596 kg

Not Yet Weighed
Khaki tee shirt bought in Malaysia
Striped T shirt bought in Malaysia
2 towels in Japan
Toe socks Japan

Rain coat Mountainwear
Bikini top Decathalonf
Yoga leggings Parkinson’s
Bra M&S
Toe socks Japan

I will be posting more info on all my  clothes later in the year.

Amir’s Outfits

So far he has bought…

Natural Fibres
One blue merino T-shirt
Two pairs of jeans.
One small towel for the Japanese baths
One medium towels for the Japanese baths
One grey silk and cotton shirt local Varanasi fabric made by a local Varanasi tailor
One pair of tracksuit shorts bought in Malaysia
One pair of Craghopper shorts in cotton.

Three pairs of cotton underpants.

Blended Fabrics

Grr but it felt like cotton…. Combat pants
• 65% polyester, 35% cotton
• 465g
• 50 UPF
Why we should never let the boy go shopping on his own. On the other hand it’s so hard to find what he wants in the excitement of getting something that fits he can forget to check labels.

Synthetic Fibres

One plastic cover all poncho. All Plastic
One synthetic raincoat.

They haven’t been weighted yet as we don’t carry scales while backpacking.

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 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.
Unless you are talking about my own homemade clothes where I can tell you exactly what plastic has been used.

I can’t afford to buy eco clothing but I can afford to make it. I have been stiching like a demon and this year most of my new clothes have been handmade. Sadly my sewing skills are not so great. There are ome rather strange outfits in there. You can read my plastic free sewing tips here…


I will be posting more information as the year progresses. Do check back.


Past Years

My Wardrobe
At the end of 2014 I had 45 items of clothing.
And some towels etc that I have yet to count.
I purchased 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres.
I purchased 3.835kg natural fibres, (including 65g surplus of natural fibres from last year to use up) 318g synthetic fibres, 45g regenerated fibres
More information on all the above can be found here

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