Do you Love Your Clothes? #FashionSalvage

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Last week I was invited to the Love Your Clothes 'Fashion Salvage' event held at the Bristol Textile Recyclers' warehouse. I didn't really know what to expect but I had such a fun evening! BTR is the only textile recycler in the south west, they work with schools and charity shops to help recycle clothing and other items.

When the donations come into the BTR factory, the second hand items are sorted into different categories and the reusable pieces are resold. Everything is either recycled or reused, there is zero waste. Apparently they even have one regular customer who purchases all the incredible pieces and resells them on Portobello Road! Many of the second hand textiles are exported abroad which creates trade and commerce, and also provides affordable clothing to underprivileged areas.

Love Your Clothes Campaign
Upcycle Clothing

Upon arrival we were treated to food and drink and given some more information about the event and the Love Your Clothes campaign. The campaign was created to provide information on how you can care for your clothes including tips on how to repair them, make the most of them by upcycling, and disposing of them to retain their value.

 Some VERY interesting facts for you: 

  • The average UK household owns approx £4,000 worth of clothes but around 30% haven't been worn for a year!
  • The clothing industry represents the fourth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry (after transport, utilities and food). 
  • Clothing represents 5% of the carbon footprint of all UK goods and services - roughly 1.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per household each year... The equivalent of jumping in a car and driving 6000 miles from the UK to Mumbai in India! There are roughly 25 million households in the UK, so that’s 25 million trips to Mumbai.
  • The waste footprint of clothing is 70kg per household each year. This is the equivalent weight of 100 pairs of jeans per year – again, multiplied by 25 million households.

Textile Recycling Bristol
Bristol Textile Recyclers

After the introduction, we were challenged to create an outfit and allowed to sift through the clothing bins for nearly 2 hours (while dodging the cameras from the Made in Bristol channel)! I had so much fun rummaging through all the second hand clothing and found some lovely pieces including an awesome hat (shocker) which I'm sure I'll feature on here soon.

Extending the average life of clothes is the single biggest action we can take to reduce the impact of clothing. Extending active use by just three months would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints. 

I think this event was a real eye opener for me, I always resell or donate my clothing to charity but in the future I will certainly buy less, and choose more wisely. I won't buy things I don't need. 

***We all need to remember the 3 R's! Reduce (buy less), Reuse (extend your clothing's lifespan) and Recycle (use your old clothing as cleaning rags etc).***

Do you believe in sustainable fashion? Were you surprised by any of these facts?

T - Planning a swap party with my friends!


  1. What an interesting event :) I think the tips are great. My dad always uses old clothing as cleaning rags and I've been trying to buy less too! I wish I was good at sewing so that I could alter some of my old clothes! xxx

  2. I've been trying to be much more conscious of the things I buy - a few years ago I used to buy lots of things whenever I found something on sale, but I've really reduced my wardrobe (my mum got A LOT of cleaning rags that day haha) and now I rarely buy anything new xx

  3. I'm so bad with buying clothes I don't need. I probably have some items that I haven't worn in 3+ years lying about.
    Rubi | Instagram | The Den |

  4. What a fabulous idea! This was so interesting to read through and really eye-opening!

  5. hannah mcintyre24 June 2015 at 16:56

    There's some quite scary statistics here! I really need to do the same and be more thoughtful when it comes to purchases. My shopping ventures tend to be way more about quantity than true quality, that's how I tend to justify purchases if they're a bargain and I get a lot for my money but maybe that's something I need to reconsider, instead of thinking a sale is an excuse to buy twice the amount I usually would! Glad you had a good time though and found some pieces to love xx

  6. I think it has become the issue in the fashion industry about sustainability because there are more and more worn clothes left behind. I actually look for a place where can I either trade or sell my clothes though xx

  7. I'm so happy that people in the clothing industry are starting to care more about sustainability. I definitely need to shop at thrift stores more often - it's good for the environment and for your wallet!


  8. Those facts really make you think don't they? £4,000 worth of clothes per household?! I've massively cut down recently (funnily enough I just posted an update about my decluttering goals!) & it feels good to have less, getting dressed is easier now I'm not trawling through loads of rubbish, a la these photos! ;-)

    Becky ::

  9. What an amazing cause! I had no idea the stats were so scary :/ it's shocking to think of the impact on the environment! xx

  10. So awesome you got to go to Fashion Salvage and what a worthy event! It's so nice to be made aware of importantly vital causes like these. And a swap party sounds like such a cool idea ;)

    Sophie | soinspo xo

  11. I've put myself on a spending ban just so I can reuse a ton of my clothes. I'm so annoyed with myself for buying clothing I barely use. What a waste!

    I've seen some bins in my area that people donate their clothing in it so it can be recycled.

  12. This looks like such a cool event to go to! I have so many clothes that I hardly ever wear but I can't bring myself to give them away. Mum uses a lot of my brothers old t-shirts etc as rags for cleaning and stuff :) xx

  13. This blog post was really interesting. I've been thinking about the impact throwaway fashion has on the environment a lot recently and I agree - I'm also going to try and buy more wisely, not just because.

    Faye x

    i wish i could wink


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