Yesterday, I threw away a pair of flip flops. They were still quite new, but the soles have smoothed out with wear and were thus slippery. They wear out very quickly, these flip flops. No big deal, as I have another three pairs scattered around. They are very cheap, after all, especially in Thailand. A passable pair of fake Havaianas cost less than £1.50.
But let’s pause to think about this throw-away item of modern life: a whopping 3 BILLION people wear flip flops, which inevitably end up in oceans. Here’s a creative project transforming used flip flops into gorgeous art, thereby saving the planet from more pollutants:
Whilst we worry about plastics, we seldom worry about old clothes in landfills that are choking up the planet. Our overconsumption and fast fashion has brought about a massive rise in textile waste dumped in landfill sites. And these days, garments often have nylon bits in them, that will take 40-50 years to decompose.
My daughter recently sold off her mountain of old clothes at her school’s car boot sale. She was selling almost-new tops, dresses and trousers off for THB20, which is less than 50p. Apart from giving a lot of joy to the new owners, she was also minimising the strain on landfills (and earning herself a little sum in the process as well).
Recently, John Lewis announced a buy-back scheme for the old clothes it sold:
You can read the full story here.
We strongly applaud its action and urge more retailers to follow the lead.
But as consumers, we can do our bit by taking the following steps:
Buy less. Resist impulse buying.
Buy ethical. Opt for items of clothing that are ethically sourced and do not rely on slave labour.
Repurpose. Read our article about turning a holey dress into a bag here.