The way we create, sell, care for and dispose of our clothing has a pretty huge environmental footprint. The impact comes from every stage of our clothes' lives, such as the thousands of litres of water needed to grow crops like cotton, the fabric dying processes that pollute waterways across the world, the carbon emissions created from transporting them and the microplastics released when we wash them - to name a few. 

Fast fashion is also produced at an incredibly excessive scale, so there's just too many clothes being made and being thrown away too fast - to give some perspective, a whopping 11 million items are binned each week in the UK! (Oxfam). Slow fashion is a concept that represents producing clothing in a way that is ethical, sustainable and respectful to people and the environment, as well as including aspects for consumers to extend the life of their clothes such as caring for, repairing and reusing. 

Buying better clothes, caring for them and keeping them around longer is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of our wardrobes, and probably save some cash too. Check out some ideas to get started with slower fashion below. 

1. Shop your own wardrobe

The most sustainable thing to wear... is the thing you already own! Spending some time re-organising, rediscovering and restyling can both make you feel re-excited about the clothes you have, and probably save you money on some things you otherwise would have bought. Here's 5 ways to rediscover your wardrobe.

2. Passing on old clothes 

One place clothes should never end up is in the landfill, because they took a huge amount of resources to create and most modern textiles contain plastic fibres which take hundreds of years to degrade. If you have clothes that aren't your style or size anymore, check out these ideas for how to pass them on sustainably instead.

3. How to upcycle old clothes 

Got some garms that are too worn to wear? Maybe they've got a tear or a stain, but the rest of the fabric could be used and can live on as something else! Check out these 5 fabric upcycling projects. 

4. Clothes care

Every time we wash our clothes, millions of microplastics (tiny plastic fibres) are shed from the fabric and rinsed out into our water systems, and eventually our oceans. Washing carefully, less often, on gentler cycles and more can help our clothes last longer and reduce the impact of our laundry. Check out these tips for more. 

5. Clothes repair 

Most holes, tears, buttons and zips on our clothes can be fixed - with a little know-how! Repairing our clothes is a great way to keep them in use. No worries if you've never picked up a sewing needle and thread, a lot of mends are really simple, or your local tailor might be able to help you out. Why not get creative and try visible mends that embrace the damage rather than trying to hide it? Here's a tutorial for some simple mends you might need. 

Make moves together

Ever been to a clothes swap? Everyone brings some pieces to trade, and can swap items to refresh their wardrobe for free. Why not introduce a clothes rail to swap and share in your workplace? Or if you'd rather host one as an event, here's our guide to get started

What happened when Hubbub tried it?

Back in 2016 we launched our very first ‘Bright Friday’: an alternative to the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Public polling revealed that as many as 4 in 10 of us felt pressured to join in sale shopping, and half of young people said they felt it encouraged them to buy stuff they don’t need.

So we created a series of events, tips and tricks and pop-up installations to help people get their fashion fix, for less! For example, our Bright Friday cube helped people visualise just how much clothing we distribute every 3.5 minutes – a whopping 300,000 tonnes a year (WRAP)! Learn more about the campaign here.