Valuing our Clothes 2017 Cover Photo

300 jumbo jets’ worth of clothing saved from landfill


Don’t bin it, bank it! 50,000 tonnes less clothing thrown away – 300 jumbo jets’ worth saved

Carbon and water footprint of clothing reduced by more than 10% over the past 4 years

The nation is learning to love their clothes, making them last longer and reducing their impact on the environment, according to new research published by sustainability not for profit WRAP.

The report, Valuing our Clothes: The Cost of UK Fashion, revealed that since 2012, an impressive 50,000 tonnes – the equivalent of 300 jumbo jets - less clothing is being sent to landfill. This is a 14% reduction in household residual waste as people reuse and recycle their clothes more.

Another major fact found in the report is the reduction of clothing water footprint by more than 13% per tonne of clothing over the past 4 years, and more than 10% carbon footprint. 

Women’s dresses and jeans have been identified as having the biggest environmental impact because of the amount of water used during their production and the large numbers sold. However, it appears overall that consumers are heeding advice about washing at 30°C and tumble-drying less, extending the life of their clothes in the process. 

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WRAP’s Love Your Clothes campaign, launched three years ago, encourages people to embrace a more sustainable approach to fashion in the way they buy, care, upcycle and recycle their clothing. 

A range of fantastic advice and tips can be found on including:

• How to care for your clothes, from laundry and stain removal to care label interpretation. 
• Quick and easy upcycling and repair techniques to extend the life of clothing. 
• How to buy smarter and tap into the growing trend for second-hand, vintage and clothes swapping events.
• What to do with clothing that has reached the end of its life.

Love Your Clothes is enabling people to invest in their relationship with their clothes. This in turn could pave the way for new business models, such as seamstress services installed in shops to help clothes last longer, and clothes rental businesses. High street brands could also surf on the huge success of the “Great British Sewing Bee” by offering sewing workshops on a more regular basis through their stores.

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Andrew Gilbert, Campaign Manager for Love Your Clothes, said:

“We are delighted by the great progress made in the reduction of the impact of clothing. Helping to care for clothes and extending their life has one of the biggest impacts in countering the environmental cost of clothes, and WRAP’s Love Your Clothes campaign delivers tips to make care, repair and disposal of clothing greener. 

“We are particularly thrilled that consumers are giving their clothes some ‘TLC’; giving them a longer life or a second chance either by donating them to charity, or selling or swapping, or upcycling or recycling them. With people keeping and wearing their clothes for longer, new business models could start appearing such as customer repair services growth and clothes hire. Together, consumers and the fashion industry are making a difference. We hope that this is more than the latest fad but a lasting fashion trend.”