A guest blog from WhoSki.com, the peer-to-peer marketplace for pre-loved ski and snowboard
clothing and Re-Action Collective supporter.
WhoSki.com is all about making best use of second hand clothing, so naturally we are 100%
supporting Oxfam’s annual Second Hand September campaign. Its goal? To encourage us all to think pre-loved, secondhand clothing – with the aim of buying nothing new all month.
But what if, rather than just thinking about buying second hand this September, we also made this
the month – the season, even – when we made sure that the clothes we no longer want or need are disposed of sustainably?
Here’s our proposal. Don’t just buy sustainably, sell sustainably too. Use #SecondHandSeptember to have a wardrobe clear-out and pass on your unwanted clothes to people who actually want and need them. People who will ensure they are used in the local market (keeping textile miles to a minimum) and in the way they were intended (extending their life and thus reducing their carbon footprint).
Unworn Clothes and Sustainability
The lazy thing to do is leave your unworn clothes in the wardrobe. A recent study from styling
business Stitch Fix found that 65% of adults in the UK have items in their wardrobe they’ve never
even worn, while the average adult reckons a fifth of their clothes don’t actually fit them.
In its influential report A New Textiles Economy, The Ellen Macarthur Foundation makes it clear:
“Increasing the average number of times clothes are worn is the most direct lever to capture value and design out waste and pollution in the textiles system. “
It explains: “Underutilisation of clothing presents a significant opportunity to capture value. Globally, customers miss out on USD 460 billion of value each year by throwing away clothes that they could continue to wear, and it is estimated that some garments are discarded after just seven to 10 wears.”
What Happens to Discarded Clothing?
A tiny proportion of clothing donated to charity shops and other outlets is actually re-sold as clothes in the country of collection. The majority is exported to other markets, shredded for rags and used as stuffing, incinerated or ends up in landfill when it proves of no commercial value to re-sale merchants.
This is the case for all textiles, including ski and snowboard clothing, which is difficult to recycle because of the wide range of materials and components used to create a hardwearing, weatherproof, performance garment.
That’s why WhoSki.com urges you to think sustainably when you are clearing your attic of unwanted ski clothing. Think #PassItOn next time you update your ski or snowboard wardrobe. The best way to reduce the carbon footprint of your no longer needed wintersports wear is to ensure it goes direct to someone else who needs it. Selling it on through our community of skiers is the best way to ensure it doesn’t end up in landfill, shredded or dumped in the toxic textiles landfill sites of the Global South. Extra good news: at WhoSki.com we donate 25% of our commission on every sale to teenage mental health charity stem4, so you are still supporting a good cause.
WhoSki.com wants to see clothing used and re-used as many times as possible. Ski clothing is perfect for the re-sale market because you and your family are more likely to grow out of it or want to change your look before your ski jacket or ski pants show any signs of wear.
Are you ready to think properly sustainable this Second Hand September?
For more information check out Oxfam’s blog.