Stitch-up your clothes this September and help reduce your carbon footprint

With the textiles industry responsible for around 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, SNC is challenging residents to take part in Stitch-up September to help combat climate change.

Published: Thursday, 3rd September 2020

SNC’s Climate Change Challenge has been running since April. This month the focus is to raise awareness of the textile industry’s carbon footprint by encouraging residents to consider their fashion choices and do what they can to extend the life of their clothes.  

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “In recent years we have seen the rise of what is referred to as ‘fast fashion’. Where clothes are produced at such high volumes and at such low costs that they have lost their value and become disposable in many people’s eyes.

“This has led to around 350,000 tonnes of clothing being sent to landfill in the UK every year.

“The textiles industry is responsible for around 10 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as around 20 per cent of all waste water. The carbon footprint of the textiles industry is larger than that of aviation and shipping combined.”

Most of these emissions come from producing the raw materials. For example, through agricultural processes to produce crops such as cotton, or through the extraction and processing of oil to produce synthetic materials such as polyester.

Other emissions come from cutting, sewing, packing and transporting clothes. Then once clothes have been bought, washing, drying and eventually disposal, all contribute to the total environmental impact of clothes.

Cllr Bambridge adds: “Extending the useful life of our clothes is one way we can reduce this impact. By keeping clothes in use for just three months longer, you can reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint of your clothes by around five to 10 per cent.

"Making your clothes last longer not only helps the environment but also saves money.  Also think about what you do with old clothes before throwing them away; if you no longer need them and they are still wearable put them in a charity clothes collection or take them to a charity shop - you may also be helping someone at the same time."

The campaign aims to highlight how making smarter fashion choices can have less impact on the environment.

From repairing or upcycling existing items to buying better quality clothing that will last longer, or swapping clothes with family and friends to buying second-hand, there are many ways residents can reduce their own carbon footprint.

For more information and tips on how to get involved with Stitch-up September, follow SNC on Facebook and Twitter or visit the website page Climate Change Challenge.