A fashionable way to make a difference

Posted On 14 Feb 2020 at 12:05 am

Do you have a fast fashion habit? If you can halve it, you can make a significant personal contribution towards saving the planet.

Two of our Labour councillors decided to stop buying clothes for a year. Here’s how they got on.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, who represents North Portslade, stopped buying clothes in April 2019.

She said it was strange at first, not going shopping, but like many people she felt had too many clothes anyway so it was not too difficult for the first few months.

It sounded like things were getting a bit tougher towards the end because she said she wished she’d stocked up on underwear and socks before she started!

Anne said that she had fallen into the trap of buying cheap clothes that wore out quickly so one of the permanent changes she is going to make is to buy less clothes but of higher quality in future.

Anne also discovered that it takes thousands litres of water to make a single pair of jeans – from growing the cotton through to the dyeing process, so jeans are off the shopping list.

Councillor Kate Knight, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, had been feeling uncomfortable for a while about how many clothes she had, the impact on the environment and the working conditions of the people who made them.

She made up her mind to take up the challenge of not buying any clothes for a year, starting in January 2019.

Kate found that she had bought too many “bargains” that she never really liked so she donated them to charity.

She also realised how much time she had been spending shopping for clothes, trying them on, agonising over them and taking them back.

Now she spends that time doing other things.

What I liked best about Kate’s story was that she learnt how to alter clothes and discovered all sorts of functions on her sewing machine.
It gave her lots of confidence in her ability to sew and to be creative.

Check out Love Your Clothes where you can find information about how to reduce your environmental impact when it comes to the choices you make about what you wear.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    One can do very well in charity shops.

    • Maggie Rea Reply

      North st Oxfam has some excellent clothes.
      Say yes to 2nd hand.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        Yes, that branch can be missed by those of us who avoid North Street (which also has the great Foodylic towards the Clock Tower on the south side).

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