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In the past few weeks, we have learned that petrol and fashion go hand in hand with each other. From man made textiles such as polyester and rayon which are directly derived from hydrocarbons, to pesticide and fertilisers used to grow cotton, to petrol based dyes and transport. We cannot seem to escape the black gold.
The use of petroleum derived products has several effects on our planet. First up, is climate change. By burning fossil fuels we increase greenhouse gases emissions and contribute to rising sea levels, biodiversity destruction such as coral bleaching, more severe weather events like cyclones.
Secondly, there is also plastic pollution. Plastic is derived from hydrocarbons and has invaded our daily lives. From single use plastic bags to toothbrushes, it seems we cannot live without it. The problem with plastic is that it breaks down in fine and invisible grains but never really goes away. It is plaguing our oceans and affecting wildlife. It can be found throughout the food chain from fishes to bears.
Third up, for the communities producing the goods we love to buy at the shops, there is a risk that water and air become contaminated, increasing the risk of diseases.
The question is, as a consumer, what can I do. Of course, there are no perfect situations and, as much as we want to put our heads in the sand, we, as consumers do have a massive impact on the planet and our fellow animal species. But that also means that we can have a positive impact and be agents of change in our communities. Fashion is big business and we are part of it. Remember when everything went directly to the garbage bin? Now, it is mainstream to put things in the recycle bin. Things do change. They can change. But we need to make a little effort by making better choices. The size of our addiction to petrol can be overwhelming, but we can start with something simple.
Next time we need to pack up our suitcase and need to do some shopping before travelling, let’s stop, think and make a better choice. Tackling what is in our suitcase is less intimidating than what is in our wardrobe, so why not stop, think and make a better choice before buying something new to put in the suitcase.
Reducing our petrol addiction starts with small steps. Let’s not throw everything we own to start afresh. Let’s wear what we have for as long as possible and repurpose it.
Next time we need something, let’s start by avoiding polyester and the like. Because life is about getting better, not about stressing out to be perfect, I invite you to come with me on a journey. Come along and discover……