I want to contribute to a more sustainable world. When repeatedly confronted with news about climate change and huge piles of garbage, I want to act – NOW. But what can you do, when you are just a regular human being and wish to contribute to a better world?
When you want to create lasting effects, it is not a single activity that makes all the difference. If you want to live healthier, it is not a miracle diet, but a change of habits you are looking for. If we want a healthier planet, it must be a similar approach we are looking for.
Fortunately help and guidance is out there, if you want to contribute. UN and all its member states have set forth a plan for how we can create a better world for all of us. This plan includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals that we can all work towards.
I find Goal 12 – "Responsible Consumption and Production” particularly interesting. Sustainable development requires us to change the way we consume goods and resources, and that we reduce the amount of waste we produce. In some way, that goal is encouraging.
I have often felt inadequate, and in doubt, that my contribution would make a difference. It is therefore comforting to know that my consumption contributes to reaching a development goal, and that I am part of a bigger movement and a plan. At least that has strengthened my motivation to rethink my consumption patterns – because then it does make a difference!
"Lately there has been a strong focus on eliminating food waste –
but what about wasting clothes?"
Lately there has been a strong focus on eliminating food waste – but what about wasting clothes? As with food, many of us probably buy more clothes than we need, and throw clothes out because we are not using it…
The production of textiles is very resource intensive, and purchasing clothes that we do not use, or throw out quickly because it is no longer the latest fashion, therefore has an unnecessarily heavy impact on the environment. Responsible consumption of clothing is therefore not only about sustainable production of textiles, but equally so a matter of using the clothes more often – and thereby purchasing less.
This is exactly what slow fashion is about – purchasing clothes that you can and will use repeatedly. It sounds simple, but it requires you to look for brands that design clothes with an eye for timeless aesthetics, and a focus on durability in the selection of materials. When you find such items, I see numerous benefits related to slow fashion:
- By purchasing fewer items I can afford more expensive clothes, and I can therefore buy clothes of better quality that are produced in a more sustainable (and often more expensive) way.
- I can only purchase items that will become my favourite clothes and that I want to wear again and again.
- A change in the way of buying clothes is a change of habits, and therefore has the potential to create a lasting impact.
- I contribute to reaching the sustainable development goal about responsible production and consumption.
A part of my contribution to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals is therefore to buy less clothes by purchasing items that are designed and produced to last. Would you like to join me?
Tennae Rix Kristensen, marketing coordinator at Önling