FashionCreative ways to make clothes last longer Fashion images that saturate our news feeds help the industry bring in a whopping £26 billion to our economy. On average we each spend £640 on clothes per year and collectively throw out almost 300,000 tonnes of clothing. One third of this has barely been worn! This is men and women alike with men only wearing 13% of the clothing in their wardrobes. Maintaining your style without throwing away your old things is easier than you think, and can save you money. Take a look at the events, blogs and top tips to give you a few threads of thought. 3 things you can do today Beat fast fashion. Be aware of impluse buys and think about whether you really want or need something. This will help you buy less, but better. Love seconds. Find some gems in second hand clothes shops or swap clothes and accessories you no longer want with your friends and family. You could even revamp something old with a few embellishments. Get some tips in our Make, do and mend handbook. Care for your clothes. Simple actions like washing clothes at 30ºC, only ironing when necessary and reducing tumble drying can make your clothes last much longer - read more about 'Clever Care'. Go a bit further - run your own campaign. Join #WhatsInMyWash Over 1/3 of primary ocean microplastics come from washing textiles. A quick glance at your clothing label will soon reveal that whether you’re wearing a t-shirt, dress, fleece or pair of cycling shorts, our clothes are increasingly made from synthetic materials like polyester, nylon and acrylic. These are actually plastic-based fabrics. Due to friction, when these fabrics are worn down and washed, they shed tiny strands of plastic less than 5mm long, called plastic microfibres. Like microbeads, they are a type of microplastic pollution which flow to rivers and oceans, may be eaten by marine life and can end up on our plates. Studies have found these fibres in our food, from mussels and table salt to honey and beer. An estimated that half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres a year contribute to ocean pollution – the largest single source of ocean primary microplastics and 16 times more plastic pollution than microbeads from cosmetics (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). Care for your clothes with #WhatsInMyWash Research is in its early stages, but findings so far indicate that taking better care of our clothes and preventing them from wearing out can reduce the likelihood of microfibres shedding and entering our oceans. Join the #WhatsInMyWash campaign and pledge to take care of your clothes: Choose clothes which are more durable, you’ll get more wears from and which won’t end up in the bin. The UK already sends 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill every year (WRAP). Over time this clothing can break down into microplastics which can find their way into eco systems and often our oceans too. Wash clothes only when needed. Microfibres are released in the wash so if you can get another wear out of something, let it air instead. Wash clothes at a lower temperature (30 degrees C). This will prevent them from wearing faster which can lead to more microfibre release. Use a full load and wash on a shorter, gentler cycle; this reduces friction on your clothes which can cause microfibres to shred and clothes to wear. Avoid the tumble dryer, they may wear your clothes out faster, increasing the likelihood of microfibre release on the next wash. Your clothes will stay in shape for longer too. If you have a condenser tumble dryer the liquid collected may contain plastic microfibres - don't empty it down the sink. Show your support - take a photo of your clothing care label and share it with #WhatsInMyWash. Tell your friends that you're committed to doing your bit to reduce plastic pollution by caring for your clothes. We've created a sample post that you can share alongside your care label photo. Spread the word Find out more, visit the #WhatsInMyWash campaign website. With thanks to Campaign for Wool for supporting the #WhatsInMyWash campaign. Booking for this event has now closed.