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Salvos Stores: Fashion Revolution Week

04/18/2022

With this year’s Fashion Revolution Week theme being ‘MONEY, FASHION, POWER’, there is no better time than now for all of us – including not only individuals but also brands and charitable organisations like us here at Salvos Stores– to reflect and educate ourselves on how we can use our capabilities and purchasing power to contribute to a fairer, more sustainable fashion and textiles industry.

It is not only important that retailers get involved in this learning process, but if there is to be a fashion ‘revolution’ we need all brands and fashion-related organisations to be as transparent as possible about what they are doing to promote sustainability, minimise their impact on the environment, and combat the damage that is being done by the fashion industry.

So, here on the Salvos Stores blog we thought that the best way to kick off Fashion Revolution Week 2022 would be to give you all a little bit of an overview of why we are passionate about the power of thrifted fashion, and how we are realising our commitment – which has been in place for over a century now – to contribute to the circular fashion economy.  

In the past decade or so, people have become far more aware of the detrimental impact that the fashion and textiles industry has on our environment. However, many of us are still not fully educated about the true costs of the clothes we buy, and may not understand what 'circular economy' really means...

In a survey conducted by Fashion Revolution in 2020, only 33% of respondents said it was important to them that the clothing they buy was produced without harming the environment. Now, this doesn’t mean that the majority of people don’t care about the environmental impact of fashion, but it does remind us that there is still a long way to go when it comes to raising awareness – thereby emphasising why Fashion Revolution is so important.

So, for those of us who don’t yet have the facts, what is the full extent of fashion’s sustainability problem? Well for starters, 100 billion garments are produced globally each year, with 33% going to landfill within the first year of purchase. This is key to the issue with ‘fast’ fashion – we’re producing and consuming clothes at such extreme rates that our environment just can’t keep up. In Australia alone, an estimated 6000 kilos of textiles and clothing are dumped into landfill every 10 minutes.

But the problem isn’t just the waste that is created after we’ve worn (or not worn) our clothes, because with the textile industry being responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions and 20% of the world’s wastewater,  most garments will have already had a significant environmental impact before we even get our hands on them.

Consider your average pair of denim jeans- did you know that making each pair of jeans uses around 8000 litres of water? The process of growing and processing cotton into the denim you know and love uses more water than most people drink in 5-6 years!

For every pair of jeans Salvos Stores divert from landfill, through reselling or recycling, you can save incredible amounts of our planets natural resources through your personal impact alone, and most importantly- hold fast fashion brands and manufacturing accountable through being aware of your personal purchasing power.

To find out more about 'Circular Economy' through Australian Charity Retailers- head to www.charitablerecycling.org.au/circular-economy/

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