Fashion to Die For ! (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Last month London Fashion week was held.  There’ll be another in June.

Fast fashion is absolutely one of THE most polluting and damaging industries on the planet, second only to oil, and here in the little UK we are actually one of the worst countries in world for creating most waste clothing.  The dying process alone uses huge amounts water that is sorely needed for food crops, and is often discharged into rivers without being cleaned up – much like our raw sewage is now being discharged into Sussex rivers.

Yes, we can donate clothes, but increasingly it is becoming like plastic rubbish- often “recycled” by transporting it to another, poorer country where it lies in a heap, unusable, partly because the cheap mixed fibres are unrecyclable.  Natural pure fibres like linen, bamboo, hemp, wool and cotton can be re-used more easily (as can unblended clothes made only from polyester.)

There are now clothes mountains dumped in the Atacama Desert (South America), in Ghana, (West Africa) and in Georgia (between Europe and Asia).

Near Georgia is war-torn Ukraine, and it was amazing to see that the kind abundance of people in Horsham was such that within minutes of opening for all sorts of donations a plea went out- no more clothes, please- we’re overwhelmed!

Our Youth Eco Forum held a sale of pre-loved clothing recently and this week Sussex Green Living took part in Lancing College’s Sustainability Week Symposium, enabling staff and pupils to learn more about the whole ‘life-cycle’ of their clothes and how to cause as little impact on the planet as possible.

Are you buying clothes to die for?  We are certainly encouraged to consume, to shop till we drop.  Or can we all make quick conscious shifts to buying only clothes we really love?  Or even better, having a year of not buying new clothes, but trying out creative skills: make and mend, darn and design.

As a further textile project, an amazing garment – The Coat of Hopes – will, we hope, be displayed at the Sussex Green Hub this month (Sat 26th.)  It was created in Sussex and travelled to COP 26 in Glasgow, gathering patches and stories from individuals on its way.  We would love to make a similar community project- a Cape of Good Hopes for Horsham, so if you would like to be involved, please come along! Or learn more here.

The United Reformed Church host their sewing group, with skills from applique to quilting, on the first Saturday of each month.

Sussex Green Hub is the last Saturday each month and on 26 March we will be offering a simple making Mothers’ Day gift activity alongside the usual, repairs, community food and refreshments.

We deliver assemblies, lessons and workshops in schools, one of our pet subjects is ‘Love your clothes and the Planet’ if you’d like us to visit your school  or event this summer, learn more here or please get in touch.

Image courtesy of

By Morag Warrack