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Make do and mend — Are you anti-landfill?

Posted by Paul Clapham on
Make do and mend — Are you anti-landfill?

1. Why is Uskees so Anti-Disposable Fashion?

When you throw away a piece of clothing into the bin, do you think about where it goes? And what the lasting impact on the planet might be?

As an industry, we produce 400% more clothes than we did 20 years ago. As individuals, we have five times more clothing in our wardrobes than just two generations before us. We only wear a garment on an average of seven times before we decide it’s ready to be discarded.

So, what happens to all this clothing? Some of it goes to charity for resale. Some of it goes to fabric recycling and is reprocessed. But, according to Wrap.org, £140 million worth of clothing gets thrown into landfill every year in the UK alone.

Boy walking through landfill site surrounded by waste.

2. Is Landfill Really Such a Bad Thing?

Fashion and landfill are causing an environmental crisis. So much of our clothing is synthetic. This means it takes up to hundreds of years to biodegrade and break down once packed into landfill.

Even ‘biodegradable’ cotton and natural fibres struggle to break down once compacted into these mountainous landfill sites.

The clothes stacked into landfill then go on to release polluting and harmful chemicals, toxins and gases into the air and the surrounding land. This slowly depletes the land and continuously pollutes the air with chemicals, such as methane that are released during the slow degradation.

3. How is Uskees Combating Landfill?

Uskees is part of the movement towards to slow fashion. An actively anti-fast fashion brand, Uskees designs and crafts clothing made to last years - not seasons. With a focus on quality and longevity, we’re a conscious fashion brand that believes in keeping, repairing and re-wearing INSTEAD of replacing.

A Repair Kit is Provided with All Our Denimwear

As part of the constant battle against fast fashion and throwaway culture, we wanted to promote our values from the moment you receive your new Uskees clothing.

With every pair of overalls, denim skirt, work shirt, jacket or denim apron from Uskees, you’ll also receive one of our signature repair kits. The repair kit consists of a swatch of material, matching thread, a thimble and in the case of overalls a spare button and buckle.

Uskees mini repair kit.

Encouraging you to consider repairing instead of replacing, our mini repair kit can help you to fix up a rip or tear that is bound to happen as you’re enjoying your clothing. Where once you might jump to replace your item, we hope to encourage every one of our customers to think twice and opt for repair for years more use.

We liked this video from ‘The Green Closet’ which gives some pointers about fixing small holes in clothing even if you’re a novice and have never sewn before:

Depending on the repair that is needed there are lots of tutorials on YouTube which can advise you on the best way to make a repair.

There is also a school of thought that advocates Visible Mending where the patch to cover a hole or tear is celebrated and made into a decoration, a style opportunity if you like, to make a well-loved garment even more individual to the wearer.

This video from Better Homes and Gardens explores this idea:

The Uskees Repair Service

Sometimes damage can happen to our clothing that is beyond a small re-sewable tear. And that’s ok - we still don’t want you to throw away your favourite Uskees goods. In fact, we don’t want you to throw them away so much that we’ve created our own Repair Service.

When you buy from Uskees we ask you to register your product for our lifetime repair service. This service is completely free to Uskees customers as part of our effort to combat excess landfill and waste. If your garment needs a little extra TLC from our experts, we just ask you to send it over to us and we’ll be happy to take a look.

Once we’ve fixed up your item, we’ll send it back to you good as new - or nearly - and you can continue to enjoy your garment for years to come.

4. How Can I be a More Conscientious Clothing Consumer?

What is the 30 Wears Test?

One of the ways you can avoid adding clothing to the landfill problem is to shop more consciously. Try using the 30 Wears Test whenever you are going to buy a new item of clothing. Before you press that Shop Now link think ‘Will I wear this garment a minimum of 30 times?’ If the answer is yes then buy it, but if it’s no then maybe think again. Rather than choosing something you know you will only wear for one or two occasions, why not pick a more versatile garment that can be styled in different ways?

If you invest in trans-seasonal clothes you will get more wear out of them - especially if you live in the UK where the weather is capricious!

If you look in your wardrobe and feel that you will no longer wear a piece of clothing, don’t bin it, instead pass it on to friends or family or donate it to your nearest or favourite charity shop where it can be sold for the good of the charity and will be loved by someone else, hopefully for years to come!

Even clothing that is not necessarily saleable can be donated as it can be sold by the charity shops to textile recycling companies. Textile recycling is the process of recovering fibre, yarn or fabric and reprocessing it into useful products.

Take Proper Care of Your Clothing

This one seems obvious but If you care for your clothing it will almost certainly last longer and give you the pleasure of wearing it for an extended time. If you have bought something that is well made and of good quality that you love then it makes sense to look after it properly.

Denim garments for example benefit from being washed less often than you might think and definitely inside out with gentle detergent and cool water.

Read the wash care label for each garment to find out the best way to launder it.

5. So, the question still stands. Are you anti-landfill?

In a bid to become a more conscious fashion consumer, it’s important to consider your role in fast or slow fashion. Do you over-consume and create excessive waste? Or do you want to be anti-fast fashion and stand with Uskees? And create a more sustainable version of our ever-thriving fashion industry.

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