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. After all one mans over consumption is after all another’s nothing to wear. However there can be little doubt that we in the UK are consuming fibres in a hugely unsustainable way.
Heres how many textile fibres are produced annually: Total fibres, both natural & synthetic, around 8.5 million tonnes Rough calculations suggest that the average amount of fibres per annum, per person in the world, works out at 11.74 kg
We in the UK are using 55kg of fabric per person and 35kg of that is on clothes. We are obviously taking more than our share of fabrics produced.
If everyone on the planet was to have 35kg of clothes each year, production would have to triple.Fabric production like everything has an environmental impact. I would argue it is not sustainable for this to happen.
So if we cannot produce more, we have to consume less.
I have pledged to use only my global share.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.
But can it be done? Cautious reply after 2 and a half years is yes it can.
Second Hand Clothes
Can I buy second hand clothes to supplement my allowance? No. I can buy second-hand but it has to count as part of my allowance.
At the end of 2014 I had 45 items of clothing.
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
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.
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.
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…
Total so far 2.596 kg
tee shirt bought in Malaysia
2 towels in Japan
I will be posting more info on all my clothes later in the year.
Bikini top 97
I will be posting more information as the year progresses. Do check back.