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SATURDAY, 18 JULY 2015

Sustainable fashion

Sustainability is a word that I use a lot in connection with food and our precious planet. We should all try to take some responsibility for buying and eating sustainably sourced food and to commit to a greener life style. However, how much do we consider our planet when we pull on our t-shirt and jeans in the morning and apply our make up? This was not something I truly considered until I started taking a keen interest in ways in which we can work together to protect our planet. Clothes, like food, are integral to our daily life but with landfill at an all time high and talk of ‘sweat shops’ supplying some of our key retailers, we really need to take more consideration of who we shop with and how we dispose of our clothes.

I have accumulated numerous clothes over the years, collected from various shoots and my general pleasure for shopping! I am very lucky but it was time for a clear out! Packing them up, I deliberately considered where they should go next. Some went to my friends and family who have admired certain items over the year, some I had worn to death and were shipped over to the recycle charity bins and the rest were deposited at my local charity shop in the hope that someone else may take some renewed pleasure from these items. Just because my taste, size or style had changed, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t enjoy wearing them!

It got me thinking though. Had clothing fundamentally become a disposable commodity? With some high street stores offering clothing at a very low cost, are we reaching a time where we can wear once and then throw away? Let’s not write off all retailers. I was pleased and humbled to see a refreshing quote from Karl-John Persson, the CEO of H&M clothing store recently saying, "At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. We want to help people express their personality and feel proud of what they wear. I’m very excited to see the progress we’ve made so far and how this will help us to make you an even better offer – and create a more sustainable fashion future"

I have always been a fan of H&M. The clothes are good quality and affordable and I am also aware they are committed to working with respect and integrity, so fundamental to their business. To quote their website ‘From improving the lives of thousands of cotton farmers, to helping you care for your clothes, we’re on a journey to a better fashion future. To get there, we’ll need to work together, plan ahead and stay true to our passion’. Like music to my ears!

We can all try to responsibly use natural resources and be climate change smart by washing on low temperatures and skipping the dryer! At H&M you can even give new life to old clothes by dropping any unwanted items at your local store. They commit to animal welfare by saying no to animal fur and only accepting leather products from animals bred for meat production. Their cosmetics have had no animal testing and they are using less of the planets precious resources. These simple principles can make a huge difference to the future generations of our world.

So, next time we all look in our wardrobes, lets take some time to think about how we can make a small but integral difference to our world.

Love, Ching x






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