Groundwork London’s ‘Waste Not’ Trend

The start of the year provides us with the opportunity to shower ourselves and our loved ones with gifts. Whether you took advantage of the January sales, celebrate Valentine’s Day, purchase the latest ‘must-haves’ from London Fashion Week, or perhaps gift your dearest for ‘Acts of Kindness Day’, it’s official – we love consuming – and giving – nice things. At a time when our focus should be to reduce waste, it can be hard to find the best ways to do it without changing the way we live our day-to-day life.

This year at Groundwork London we are exploring inspiring ways to help us all reduce our carbon footprint, and we want to highlight some sustainable ways of consuming fashion and other products that can be wasteful to mediate the impacts of over-consumption.

But before we dive into our ‘waste-not’ trend and retail initiatives in London, let’s look at some of the facts and trends that are gripping our consumer cultures therefore impacting our over-consumption of goods and commodities.  

Background: The Facts

As of September 2022, the waste sector, (landfill gas (LFG), a combination of methane and carbon dioxide) became one of three key methane emitting sectors — following agriculture and oil and gas — responsible for about 20% of human-driven methane emissions globally.* 

By 2030, fashion consumption is set to grow by 63%. Clothing production releases more emissions than aviation and shipping combined.* The industry has become one of the most dangerous to international environmental health, and the waste generated from the fast fashion industry alone accounts to 92 million tonnes of textiles waste every year.

Fast Fashion: The Big Picture

The rise of fast fashion has led to a culture of disposable clothing, where clothes are worn only a few times before being thrown away. This contributes to the amount of clothing in landfills, which can take years to decompose. Aside from this damaging level of waste, the fast fashion industry is damaging our environment way beyond our landfill sites. 

Textile, plastic and general waste are just the tip of the iceberg when we consider the global instigators to climate change, which affects our air, our green spaces, our seas and our global health. So the big question is how do we reduce waste and save our planet? Sustainable fashion is an approach to designing, producing, and consuming clothing that considers the social, environmental, and economic impact of the fashion industry.

Although sustainability is a focus for some Fashion Week designers like Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman, the wider industry needs to move from traditional production practices and cheap labour to inspire new and ethical working environments, and consider ays we can recycle our waste instead of buying the latest ‘on-trend’ piece. 

Do we hear you say ‘but sustainable fashion is so expensive and beyond my budget!‘ Not anymore. A lot of high-street brands such as H&M Conscious Range, Uniqlo and Converse Renew are encouraging customers to consider donating and buying sustainable, pre-loved fashion and goods, and they’re exploring collections made from recycled materials. At Groundwork London, we have The Good Store – the sustainable department store – bringing pre-loved and sustainably sourced clothes and accessories and more that are affordable and will support a good cause. 

Groundwork London Action

At Groundwork London we are passionate about creating a future where every neighbourhood is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny, and no-one is held back by their background or circumstances. This can only be achieved by finding solutions to help mediate, and improve, the impacts of these industries.

This vision drives the work that we do. Each year we deliver hundreds of innovative projects across London, tackling the biggest issues facing our communities. With the support of our funders and partners across the public, private, and voluntary sector, and within the communities themselves, we work towards creating a real and lasting, positive change. We empower people to engage in actions that help everyone live more sustainably and reduce their waste, energy, and water use. We have a number of projects that focus on circular economy and sustainable practices which aim to help, not only the our green spaces, but also the people in our communities.

Circular Economy

Groundwork London’s retail and service delivery lies beyond the fashion industry and focuses on circular economy and processes wherever there is opportunity.

Westminster Wheels donates 400 bikes each year back to the community, while training brilliant people in the community to learn new skills and find routes into employment.

Rework brings white goods back to life from their base in Wandsworth’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) with their team of engineers and apprentices. Aimed to reduce waste an also create employment opportunities, their collection of fridges, freezers, washing machines and ovens go back to the community through charity networks, retailers and local council support.

The Loop restores and repairs ‘waste’ furniture items to help reduce fly-tipping and waste sent to landfill sites. This programme offers new streams into employment and volunteer opportunities in its local community too. 

The Loop Video

At The Good Store, the sustainable department store and very first of its kind, offers a curated selection of sustainably-focused products to customers to bring sustainable alternatives to the high street and online. Through fashion, beauty, toys, tech and furniture, The Good Store is leading the way in helping everyone live more sustainably.

Tips from The Good Store – How to reduce our impact

If – like us – you are seeking ways to help reduce your fashion environmental impact and your carbon footprint, the team at The Good Store have shared their expert tips to help us all live more sustainably. 

Contact us 

If you’d like to find out more about our retail initiatives and support services available to help you live more sustainably please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Green Doctors – Daniel Brittle

Westminster Wheels – Barnaby Stutter barny.stutter@groundwork.org.uk 

Rework – Keith Perdicou keith.perdicou@groundwork.org.uk 

The Loop – Andrea Neaf andrea.naef@groundwork.org.uk 

 The Good Store – Fiona Brenner fiona.brenner@groundwork.org.uk 

 

Sources

Websites:

Clean Air Task Force

Earth.org

Books:

“Do Earth: Healing Strategies for Humankind” by Tamsin Omond