When we are confronted with the urge of buying a new clothes, there are so many things we usually ponder; foremost style, then follows colour, size, the occasions you will find yourself wearing it at, and of course, the price. If all these factors pass the test, another successful shopping story is born.
What we don’t consider, though, is the indirect impact for the environment of what we are buying. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and National Geographic video, “Make Each Choice Count,” based on water usage in textile production, it takes about 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt (that includes the growing, producing, transporting and washing of the cotton), which is enough water for one person to drink for 900 days. This water story continues after the purchase, with washing cycles and tumble-dryers. It all comes down to a huge water footprint for cotton (The international learning community Water Footprint Network defines the water footprint as the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use). Now, multiply that for all the T-shirts you have in your cupboard, and think of how many t-shirts live under your roof and you get an idea of the impact that our choices make.
While we definitely can’t stop buying altogether, we can be more aware of the water footprint in our daily choices. Reusing and up-cycling are two strategies that can turn out to be awesome ways to make your cupboard fun. Cape Town is an upcycling paradise, with an exciting number of vintage, second-hand shops, markets and institutions such as the Milnerton Market, famous for the hidden gems visitors can find. A new addition to the scene is The Collective Collection, a partnership between Philippa Müller and Sara Colle (the other half of Spaghetti Mafia). The Collective Collection is about people and second chances, collecting new and second-hand clothes, with the purpose to find them a new owner.
Everyone has some unwanted or unused clothes from some impulse shopping that wasn’t successful. If you are keen to find them a new home, get in touch with the Collective! Following a very innovative formula, they won’t charge you any service fee – name the price you want for your clothes and once sold, you’ll get paid. The outcome is a collective collection of beautiful clothes ranging from brand new to Vintage.
For those hunting down desert attire for Afrika Burn, this is a great opportunity for some unique finds.
Back by popular demand, the Collective Collection is hosting its third market on the 18th April 2015 at Blah Blah Bar, nestled in the heart of busy Kloof Street. And if shopping makes you hungry there is Ferdinando’s Pizza just next door.
The market starts at 2pm, continuing into the evening. Follow the Collective on their Facebook page or drop them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check the Waterfoot Footprint Network, an online platform to learn how to be more water-wise and sustainable, and info on how to make different choices.