HURR is delighted to announce our partnership with TRAID, to support their 23% campaign, aimed to inspire, persuade and encourage Londoners to put their unworn clothes back into circulation.
Co-Founder and CEO Victoria Prew sat down with TRAID’s Head of Campaigns and Education, Andrea Speranza to discuss the initiative in more detail.
1. When did TRAID begin the 23% Campaign and how has it been received so far?
We launched the campaign on 25th September 2018, on the third anniversary of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. One of these goals (number 12) calls for ensuring “sustainable consumption and production”. The 23% campaign calls on Londoners to pass on the clothes they no longer wear and raise awareness of this goal in a simple and easy way.
2. Since the launch, how many items of clothing have been passed onto TRAID?
We launched six months ago, and so far over three-quarters of a million items of clothes, that’s 221 tonnes, has been passed on to TRAID and put back into use. That’s equivalent to 353,600,000 litres of water and 2,100 tonnes of CO2! These are significant environmental savings. It’s been a fantastic response so far.
3. Can you explain why embracing the circular economy is so crucial for the fashion industry?
It’s really important. The planet has limited resources so it’s important that the fashion industry moves away from the ‘take, make, dispose’ model and adopts a more circular approach. There is a real need to change the current state of the industry and move towards a more sustainable model and we only have a short window to make that change. With this in mind, it’s vital that we keep clothing in use as long as possible. Clothes need to be built to last and when we buy second-hand, borrow and rent clothing, we displace the need to buy new items.
4. How did you find out that 23% of London’s clothes are unworn and what can we do to fix this?
We commissioned a survey by YouGov. Our research showed that 23% of London’s clothes are unworn, which is equivalent to 123 million items of unworn clothes. To give you an idea, it would take 15 years for the population of London to drink the water used to produce these clothes – that’s a lot!
5. The Campaign has received support from global celebrities such as Emma Watson, how has this increased awareness of the campaign?
We have had such strong support across the world on the campaign, particularly through social media. It’s great because it means we reach and engage with new audiences. More often than not, influencers encourage consumers to buy more clothes, but we have support from key figures that are promoting more sustainable options.
6. Could you explain a little more about the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 12?
The United Nations member states, including the UK, agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to protect the planet and end poverty that need to be reached by 2030. That’s just 11 years. Although many of these goals are relevant to TRAID and to the fashion industry, SDG12 is a really important goal. It’s about sustainable production and consumption and we wanted to find a way to communicate this message clearly. The 23% campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage everyone to have a more sustainable relationship with their wardrobes. We can’t carry on using rapidly diminishing resources. We all need to be asking, how can we do more with less?
7. TRAID offer an at-home collection service, how does this work?
It’s really simple. Book a free home collection online or by phone and TRAID will collect the clothes that you no longer wear direct from your door. Home collections are really popular and we’re making it as simple and convenient as possible to take part in the campaign.
8. The 23% seems like a London-centric campaign, are there plans to roll it out nationwide?
TRAID launched the campaign in London, as it’s the fashion capital of the world. We are focused on London but have had interest from brands and individuals across the UK. The issue of clothing waste is a problem across the nation, not just London. In the UK, 30% of our wardrobes are unworn. This is the equivalent of 1.7 billion items of clothing that could be donated to charities. For people living outside London who want to pass clothes on to TRAID, we have a UK-wide network of textile banks. We want to make people understand how you can take action, and the impact every single donation has on the environment.
9. How can HURR Collective members get involved in the campaign?
We’d like everyone to look in their wardrobes and reflect on what they no longer need or wear. Passing on these clothes not only has huge environmental benefits but also accelerates more sustainable consumption and production. Plus, the funds TRAID raises from the clothes we reuse and resell is committed to projects supporting the people and places making our clothes. Many of us like “shopping therapy”, but “clear out therapy” will make you feel even better!
You can invite your friends, family and other members to all take action too.
10. What would be your top three tips for HURR members who want to limit the impact of fashion on the environment?
Buy less, buy better and buy second hand – I call it the TRAID trilogy!