Fighting fast fashion
The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions
Fast fashion has become a hot topic both in Australia and globally and people now want to know what impact their fashion items are having on the planet. It’s inspiring to discover local business, Renew by Riette, tackling these issues, one garment at a time! But first – what is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is the production of clothes that are made for a particular trend at an improbably low price, which will soon be tossed in the “out of fashion” pile. Fast fashion can apply not only to clothes but also to home accessories and even bedsheets!
Renew by Riette in the City of Melville makes adult and kids aprons, pearl barley & WA lavender heat packs and urchin air plants from repurposed materials including fabric and glass. They also use recycled packaging and champion sustainability, which is the driving force behind their business, on their social media. In recognition of this awesome achievement, Renew by Riette has won the Switched on Business award.
“Renew creates unique and beautiful handmade items for your home or the little one in your life, with a focus on re-using in order to reduce waste. We aim to create products that can be enjoyed, whilst saying no to 'fast fashion'; mass produced goods and the consumption of 'NEW' things. $1 of every sale over $20 is donated to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to help protect endangered wildlife”, said business founder Riette.
The environmental impact
Fast fashion has a significant environmental impact, from the water it takes to grow cotton crops, to the plastic in synthetic materials, the oil to transport these products to our door and the waste to landfill at the end of their life.
Individuals can tackle this by buying fewer clothes, repairing, re-wearing and upcycling clothes. Sheets and towels can be used for upcycling projects to make shopping bags or keep a pet warm in winter.
Buying locally-made is also important as it supports local businesses, the local economy and reduces emissions associated with transport.
Buying clothes, homewares and furniture second-hand is a great way to reduce the environmental footprint of your purchases. Op-shopping or buying online through Facebook, eBay or Instagram are great ways to find your next splurge.
But if you’re planning to single-handedly keep op-shops in business with your fast fashion habits, think twice! Fast fashion, made to go out of style quickly, is less likely to sell second-hand than a timeless piece of fashion made from higher quality materials. If you’re clever, like the team at Renew by Riette, both high quality and fast fashion pieces can be snapped up and upcycled to make homewares, accessories and more.
Congratulations to Renew by Riette on their win! Find their products at: