Over the past two decades, there’s been an increase in fast fashion i.e. the mass consumption of cheap clothing. Repairing damaged clothes is a way to help slow down your clothes consumption. Below you will find reasons why you should do so.

 

  1. It reduces the carbon footprint of that item of clothing

A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions of a certain thing e.g. a person, organisation or product

The fashion industry currently contributes to ≈10% of annual global carbon emissions through:

- fibre and fabric production

- making the item

- packaging and transporting it

- washing and drying

- transport to landfill

By actively wearing an item for one year instead of two, you decrease the carbon footprint of that item by 24%.

  1. It puts value to the effort that went into making it

It’s easy to give higher value to the items of clothing that cost more. However, think about the garment workers who made it, and the materials that were used up to make it. To put this into perspective, 10,000 litres of water are used to make one pair of jeans.

Reward this effort by extending the life of your clothes and repairing them.

  1. Recycling clothes isn’t as environmentally friendly as repairing them

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, >1% of fibres are recycled into new clothing and 12% goes into other purposes such as mattress stuffing.

The fashion industry produces around 80-150 billion garments annually.

Consider the fact that only ≈13% gets recycled, and the rest:

- gets lost in production

- gets lost in processing

- gets lost in microfiber leakage

- dumped in landfill

- incinerated

Recycling clothes also consumes more energy and resources than repairing them.

  1. It makes your favourite items last longer

As a more personal reason, if you like an item of clothing, why not save it so that you can continue wearing it. It’s also cheaper to fix a garment you already have than buying something new. If it’s past its wearable lifespan, repurpose it! Turn it into part of a quilt, or a tote bag, or save pieces of it to up-cycle another piece of clothing e.g. jeans. 

Hopefully these reasons have convinced you to repair your damaged clothes. A small change like replacing a button on a cardigan instead of throwing the item away has a bigger implication than you may realise.