Sustainable/Zero Waste Fashion and the True Cost of the Fast Fashion Industry

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This gorgeous jumpsuit I wore to a wedding – Bought it for $5 at a secondhand clothing store!

For a while now I’ve been concerned about the pitfalls of the fast fashion industry – both the waste issues, as well as the humanitarian issues like sweatshops and low wage workers, and the environmental problems, like the high rate of pesticides used in the production of materials like cotton, and the harsh chemicals used in the creation of garments.

I’ve always purchased probably 50% of my wardrobe from secondhand clothing stores, but about 18 months ago, I decided to exclusively shop at secondhand stores for all my clothing from now on.

I always thought about it from a waste stream point of view – If I could purchase my clothing from the clothing already out there in the world, without contributing to the growing demand on the fashion market, I would be making a difference – however small.

But recently I watched the documentary The True Cost, and it got me thinking a whole lot more about the wider impacts of the fast fashion industry.

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Low Impact shopping at Bristol’s first Zero Waste store

Like many other South-West UK zero-wasters, I was delighted to hear about the opening of Zero Green in Bristol recently.

The gorgeous and green shop was opened by two passionate women, Lidia and Stacey, who said:

“Zero Green came about for two reasons; firstly, we were both becoming frustrated about how much packaging there is on everyday items and our understanding of how much damage plastic, and specifically single use plastic, was doing to our planet. Secondly, we realised that if we wanted to see something done about it we would have to do it ourselves! 

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Giving Zero Waste Hair Dye a Shot with LUSH Henna

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I’ve been dying my hair chocolate brown with a packet dye for around seven years now, but with my transition towards a more zero waste/low impact lifestyle, I decided this habit had to come to an end.

The chemicals in the conventional hair dye, the plastic packaging, and the resources wasted to create what is, essentially, a product for my vanity, was not worth it anymore, in my humble opinion.

So I stopped dying my hair approximately five or six months ago, when I figured my roots were a colour I could deal with and would let grow out.

However, now that the colour in my hair has faded, I’ve been left with a brassy, almost red, browny colour that does not cause me to look in the mirror and think happy thoughts.

I’m sorry, earth, but I just couldn’t deal with it.

So I looked for a solution.

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The coffee pod conundrum

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ah, coffee pods. Another “marvellous modern invention”, of which the world has begun to realise may be more of a detriment than an advantage.

The single-use coffee pod was invented in the early 1990s, and at present it is believed that Australians are using approximately three million coffee pods a day.

Millions of households in Australia own a pod machine, with the pod market set to overtake the whole coffee bean market in a short period of time.

Coffee pods were something I hadn’t given much thought to until recently, as I’d never used them much before, apart from the odd occasion at a hotel buffet breakfast when it was the only option.

But recently they’ve begun to grind my gears.

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How and why you should get involved in Earth Hour 2018

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Our earth is beautiful, yes, and if you want to keep enjoying it the way we are today, you’re going to have to make some better choices right now.

This week, you have the opportunity – placed right in front of you, on a silver platter, without even moving from your comfortable spot on the lounge – to make a difference for our earth.

Earth Hour is set to take place between 8.30-9.30pm (local time) this Saturday, March 24.

If you haven’t heard of Earth Hour before, it is an initiative set up by the WWF. The first ever Earth Hour occurred in Sydney in 2007, and spread around the world in the following years.

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Zero Waste Living: Learning to make bread from scratch

 

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One of Dan’s gorgeous home-baked loaves

One thing that had previously been tough to make zero waste in my life was bread.

I love bread, I love carbs, and I eat a lot of it. But how do you get bread without the plastic packaging it comes in?

You have two choices: Either find a bakery that will allow you to bring your own cloth bag to put loaves in, or make it yourself.

Luckily for me, my boyfriend Dan has been making his own bread for years, and when I moved over to the UK to live with him in August, he began teaching me how to make my own loaves too.

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