People use double the clothing they did two decades ago, with average global apparel fibre consumption* rising from 7 kilograms each in 1992 to 13 kilograms per person in 2013.
This has occurred as part of a transformational shift in the way we source clothing and the substance from which those clothes are made. Most clothing is now produced in factories for global supply chains and two-thirds of it is made using synthetic fibres derived from petroleum, according to Jane Milburn of Textile Beat.
During this National Recycling Week (9-15 November), Ms Milburn will discuss our clothing story as guest speaker at the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Sustainable Cities 2015 Awards in Brisbane on November 13. The awards are running in tandem with the Recreate handmade market and Paper Fashion Parade in King George Square.
Every day we eat and we dress. We are now more conscious of our food – it is time to be more conscious of our clothing.
Jane Milburn was immersed in slow fashion for 365 days during 2014 with a personal undertaking to upcycle existing natural fibre garments for the Sew it Again project. It proved to be a lesson in contemporary dress culture, making Jane more aware of how little we know about the back story of garments that wrap our bodies 24/7.
This awakening informs a reshaped future for Textile Beat. What began as a simple textile upcycling initiative now evolves into a more holistic approach to dressing. Jane dreams of making every garment story a good one – good for the wearer, society and planet.
There are many ways for individuals to dress with conscience. It begins with knowing more than what is visible from the outside. The art of dressing well is embodied in the character of what you wear, not just the look. Your options for mindful dressing might encompass the following characteristics: local, quality, pre-loved, handmade, good and fair, repair and care, zero textile waste, know your style, natural fibres, sentimental, upcycled or classic. Dress well to live well.