The Art of Reducing and Re-using

By Chandana Biswas

The fast-fashion world has taken its control over us for a long period now. Fast fashion refers to clothes that are often cheaply made in mass quantities. Fast fashion tends to be a problem because the clothes are usually of low quality. That means they can break down quickly. Whether the threading comes undone, they tear, or they just wear out after a few washes, likely, you’re not going to get years of use out of a shirt from a fast-fashion brand. From a sustainability standpoint, the overproduction of low-quality clothing contributes to

everything from carbon emissions to excessive waste.

// womenfitness / waste

Coming to the rescue are the R’s of the Sustainable family, REDUCE & REUSE.

// Chandana Biswas / logo

I already have two variations of that jacket, do I really need to have a third one? Before you buy anything, try asking questions to yourself, such as can I afford this?

Do I need this?

Do I have something similar, can I borrow or buy it second hand?

Do I love it?

Is this of good quality?

Does it suit my needs at this moment?

Will I get a lot of use out of this item?

If the item was full price would I still buy it?

The first and foremost way to the path of reduction is not to buy new things, when you buy something new you are creating a demand for it, the process of making that particular product gives rises to a huge amount of waste. You can easily say no to things you don't need and appreciate all you already have. Research has shown that the average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste.

// blueclue / Getty Images / quality clothing

Secondly, avoid anything plastic, plastic wrapping, packaging, bottles, polythene bags, etc. The tiny particles of the plastics contains harmful chemicals that goes into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources, and also the ecosystem. This can cause a range of potentially harmful effects on the species that drink the water, or are in the water. If you do go shopping, you can easily bring your own reusable bags and thus avoid plastic bags.