TRAID – a UK fashion charity – warns that people living in Greenwich throw the most unused clothes away in South London, potentially leading to high levels of waste, carbon emissions and consumption, writes Nora Selina Helal…

Lambeth and Southwark are not far behind with 23 per cent getting rid of clothes they’ve never worn.

To tackle this, TRAID are calling on all Londoners to start re-using and passing on clothes they no longer wear by launching the London-wide 23% campaign.

Actress, model and activist Emma Watson is supporting the campaign on social media and recently tweeted:“Fellow Londoners, @TRAID revealed in their new study that 23% of London’s clothes are unworn. TRAID offers *free* home collections picking up clothes you no longer wear direct from your door, direct to the charity!”

TRAID reveals that unworn clothes by Londoners equates to 123 million times, or 333,000 tonnes of CO2e – enough to power 50,000 homes for a whole year.

It would take the entire population of London fifteen years to drink the water footprint of London’s unworn clothes.

Mary Creagh, MP and chair of Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee commented: “The way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge impact on the environment.

“TRAID’s 23% campaign calls on Londoners to put 123 million items of unworn clothes back into use.

“Initiatives like this one help everyone recycle their clothes – and to understand why it matters – as well as supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 12.”

Andrea Speranza, Campaign Manager at TRAID, said: “London is one of the world’s greatest fashion capitals and its wardrobes are full of unworn clothes.

“Cheap fast fashion is powering rising consumption and production, placing unsustainable demands on finite resources to produce clothes which are poorly made, barely worn and quickly replaced.

“From carbon emissions and use of water in the production of clothes, through to landfill and incineration when clothes are thrown away, the fashion industry can have a devastating environmental impact.

“Giving longer life to our clothes by passing them on avoids the purchase of new items reducing the carbon, water and waste footprints of our clothes. Given the chance, Londoners care and are ready to take action – and we are here to help them.”

The United Nations member states agreed in 2015 to implement Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for people everywhere in the world by 2030 with consumption playing an important role in these global goals.

Yet TRAID’s research found that 72 per cent of Londoners have never heard of the SDGs.

Ms Speranza added: “Progress of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is vital to the future health and sustainability of our planet, but 72 per cent of Londoners have never even heard of them. Creating wider awareness and empowering people to take action is critical.

“The campaign to put London’s 23 per cent of unworn clothes back into use is an opportunity to advance the goals, and ensure more sustainable consumption and production.”