Going Green: We can all be greener when it comes to fashion

Reuse and recycle clothes by swapping for sustainable fashion and zero waste. Photo: AdobeReuse and recycle clothes by swapping for sustainable fashion and zero waste. Photo: Adobe
Reuse and recycle clothes by swapping for sustainable fashion and zero waste. Photo: Adobe
I was nominated for an award recently – the Regen Net Zero Energy Pioneer 2024. It was an honour to be nominated, and I was really shocked when I won.

The judges said I’d ‘caused a thousand flowers to bloom in the clean energy sector’ which was apt as I was wearing a black dress with blossom flowers on it.

While I manged to get to the stage without falling over in my heels, it got me thinking about green fashion. I loved the dress I wore, I borrowed it from a friend after a big trying on session at my house for the award.

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Yet while I was enjoying fashion parade in my home, 5,369 miles away, the glamorous and the good of California were celebrating the Green Carpet Awards.

Held in Hollywood, the awards celebrate positive forces in fashion and entertainment. Zendaya, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Donatella Versace, Jennifer Coolidge, Annie Lennox, and Trudie Styler, walked the red carpet.

Founder of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Livia Firth said, ‘Fashion and entertainment is our platform but we are in the business of transformation. This is how we move the narrative of the climate crisis, and this is how together we refashion the world.’

While stars like Zendaya wore vintage Roberto Cavalli and I wore a dress borrowed from a friend, there’s no denying fashion is moving in a better direction than it has for years when it comes to sustainability and recycling.

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Statistics show around 86 per cent of UK fashion consumers want their clothes to be made ethically and 72 per cent of them sustainably.

Unfortunately though, there’s still a way to go. It's estimated that more than two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute in the UK, more than any other country in Europe. That fast fashion fetish produces nearly 50 tonnes of carbon emissions, the same as driving 162,000 miles in a car.

In one month alone, the carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK was greater than flying a plane around the world 900 times. So what can be done? The good news is plenty. I don’t know anyone who isn’t raving about Vinted right now. The pre loved fashion app has over 16 million users in the UK that’s nearly a quarter of the population.

So whether it’s Vinted, eBay, Depop, car boot sales, Oxfam online, charity shops or organised clothes swaps with friends, there’s plenty we can all do to be greener when it comes to fashion. Right now, pre loved clothes are nearly 10 per cent of the market share. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it was 100 per cent?