#XR52 Clothing Boycott

May 9, 2019

Local members of XR Chelmsford are challenging themselves to boycott new clothes for a year. Our rampant consumption of fast fashion emits vast amounts of greenhouse gases and leads to biodiversity losses from intense crop cultivation, not to mention the social issues and the treatment of those working in garment factories.

Did you know that in the UK 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe has not been worn in a year? [Source: Wrap]

In the UK £140m worth of clothing goes to landfill each year! [Source: Wrap]

Extinction Rebellion has challenged individuals, companies and collectives in the fashion industry to change their practices and commit to a more sustainable future. So Chelmsfordians are standing up and saying: no more! They are challenging themselves to buy no new clothes for the next 52 weeks. And we encourage our friends, families and fellow Rebels to join in.

This is not just about reducing our personal carbon footprint or living more sustainably – it’s about Rebels causing mass disruption together, disobeying the norms and refusing to cooperate with a toxic industry that has us all headed for extinction.

Here’s just 3 strong reasons why:

  1. Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined [Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation]
  2. Clothing production has more than doubled globally over the last 15 years, and in the UK we’re buying twice as much as we were buying 15 years ago [Source: Fashion Revolution]
  3. Textiles are the largest source of both primary and secondary microplastics, accounting for 34.8% of global microplastic pollution  [Source: Fashion Revolution]

So far 22 members of XR Chelmsford have signed up:

Alex C
Carol Roman
Ellie Ex
Fiona Clapperton
Greg Beere
Jacqui Stringer
Jan Brown
Janet Leverich
Jayme Elkins
Jean Wardrop
Kat Torrie
Laura Kerry
Laura Rose
Lynne Wye
Michelle Crockett
Miriam Henson
Ness Undorma
Sarah Greenfield Clark
Simon Cross
Sophia Cheng
Sophia Danenberg
Stuart Robertson
Susan Smith

“I gave up buying new clothes a few months ago… there are so many second shops around where you can buy good quality stuff”

 “I do not wish to add to the constant drive for destructive endless growth and [instead] favour negative growth economies”

 “I love this idea! Honestly I’m not sure how practical it would be for me, but willing to give it a go, especially if there was support”

Over the year we’ll share updates on how our members are doing, their wins and where they struggle. When we are bombarded with so many adverts on a daily basis, this isn’t going to be easy! Wish us luck!

JOIN US in a one-year boycott of new clothing to economically disrupt the fashion and textiles industry. Here’s the global Facebook event that you can join and share with your friends. Here’s a map of charity shops within a 5 mile radius of Chelmsford, compiled by the charity retail org. There’s an upcoming Share the Repair event in Southend on 19th May. Look out for more related events coming up.

The Arts group in Chelmsford is making plans for a ‘clothes surgery’ and sewing skills workshop so we can get better at repairing our own clothes. We will be sharing news of local clothes swaps occurring in the area too.

Ready to take the pledge yourself?

  1. Let us know your name if you want it to be added publicly by emailing info@xrchelmsford.org
  2. Let your friends and family know. Here’s an image we’ve prepared that you can use as a declaration, or get creative and make your own. Use #XR52 #XRChelmsford on social media
                                  View full-size Download
  3. Get informed
    1. Watch Costing the Earth
    2. Follow Fashion Revolution
    3. Read this Guardian article about people who have stopped buying new clothes

Do you have questions/ideas you’d like to share?

– What about underwear? For those forced to purchase some essential items such as underwear, we urge them to favour the most ethical and ecologically-sound choices, such as sustainably-sourced biodegradable materials.

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