World Vision Ireland calls on the Irish Public to avoid Fast Fashion on the High Street and support #SecondHandSeptember

Conservation works have been carried out to Grange Castle that included the development of a new public park around the castle situated at Grange Castle Business Park.
September 2, 2020
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September 2, 2020

With the hugely damaging global growth of ‘fast fashion’, clothing
production has doubled from 2000 to 2014, with more than 150 billion
garments now produced annually, and 73% of all textiles ending up in
landfill or incineration. Textiles are the fourth largest cause of
environmental pressure and World Vision Ireland said that climate
change has had catastrophic impacts on the developing world. The
charity is calling on the Irish public to avoid fast fashion, and to
support #SecondHandSeptember by only buying garments from charity
shops instead.

“Fast fashion refers to the mass production, mass disposal of clothes.
This cycle of throwaway fashion is putting a huge amount of pressure
on our planet and it’s utterly unsustainable.” Fiona O’Malley, the
Director of Communications and Fundraising at World Vision Ireland,
said. “Textiles also cause the second highest pressure on land use and
are the fifth largest contributor to carbon emissions from household
consumption. Our transport, food consumption and fashion addiction
patterns are more than just a commute, a dinner or clicking the
checkout button. Our everyday choices have direct consequences in the
form of polluted air, child labour, a melting glacier and rising sea
levels. We all have a part to play in fixing our fractured planet, but
time is running out. We now have an opportunity to consider the role
we all need to play for the survival of the next generation and the
planet.”

The charity said that we should use September to reassess our
consumption patterns and the impact it has not only on us in the first
world, but also on the most vulnerable in the developing world, who
face the worst impacts of climate change. World Vision Ireland said
that many communities across the globe are displaced because of crop
failure, famine, floods or extreme weather conditions which are a
direct result of global warming.

“If every person in Ireland avoided buying any new clothes in
September, it would make a hugely positive change to the climate
crisis.” Fiona O’Malley said. “Going ‘cold turkey’ and vowing to never
buying another clothing garment again may be unrealistic for many
people, which is why buying clothes that already exist, in vintage or
charity shops, is a great idea. By buying second hand, you are still
getting ‘new’, but ‘pre-loved’ pieces, instead of contributing to a
supply chain that has very damaging environmental effects. You can get
some really good quality pieces in charity shops across the country.
If you only buy natural, sustainable materials, like cotton, wool,
hemp fibres, nettle fibres, Pinatex, or lotus fibres, it’s also better
for the environment. These materials also allow the skin to breathe,
unlike synthetic fibres, which make you sweat more.”

The UN states that the textile sector is responsible for between 8 and
10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and it estimates that, by
2050, fashion could be responsible for a quarter of all carbon
emissions.

World Vision Ireland said the bottom line is that we urgently need to
make changes to live more sustainably. This involves planting billions
of trees, turning away from fast fashion, and heavily reducing our
food waste.

Fiona said that real climate action means changing our methods of
production and consumption by reassessing how we buy and reuse
textiles. The Irish charity also encouraged people who have gardens to
plant trees during the lockdown, to help reduce carbon emissions.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release pure oxygen back to the
atmosphere.

“Whilst lockdown has brought many difficulties and trauma, it’s also
been a time for people to reassess their pace of life and the use of
space in and around their homes.” Fiona said. “Trees improve the
beauty around your home, improve the air quality and bring an element
of tranquillity. I’ve noticed an increase in my social circles of
discussions around gardening and plant shopping. Many people are
looking at the landscape around their homes and considering how to
turn it into a nature haven. There are several grants available for
planting trees. Even a quarter of an acre can be planted and fully
grant aided. For more information on tree planting grants, go to
crann.ie.”

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