On most people's New Year's resolutions lists, you will find the phrases "lose weight" or "hit the gym". Whilst these can be really positive resolutions, have you ever thought about becoming more environmentally friendly for your New Year's resolution - to help the planet and not just yourself? Well, there's no better time or place to start!

Here at Sancho's, we are extremely passionate about not only helping the environment through more traditional means such as recycling but also through alternative means such as shopping sustainably! Since the beginning of the 20th century, clothing has increasingly been considered as disposable, making the current clothing system extremely wasteful and polluting. 

In the last 15 years alone, clothing production has approximately doubled mainly due to the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon, with a quicker turnaround of new styles, increased number of collections offered per year, and often lower prices. Large amounts of nonrenewable resources are extracted to produce these clothes that are worn for only a short period, after which the materials are mostly sent to landfill or incineration.

To help combat this wasteful fast fashion phenomenon, vow to shop sustainably in 2018, whether that means recycling your unwanted clothes or building a sustainable capsule wardrobe. Both are extremely useful but we know which is more fun! Hint: it's the latter. Since we are so passionate about making ethical fashion more accessible to the public, we are holding a January sale so that you can start creating a more sustainable wardrobe in 2018. Sales help prevent stock from being wasted and unworn which is why we love holding them. So pop instore or order some sustainable staples online so you can start your year both sustainably and in style!

If you learn anything new from this blog, we would love for you to share the word about the importance of sustainable shopping by sharing the post with your friends and family 😊 Thank you!

1. Less plastic pollution

As production of cotton, the world’s most popular natural fibre, has plateaued, polyester has stepped in to fill the void. This is because it is inexpensive, easy to blend with other materials, and it has remarkably improved in its look and feel since the 1950s. This means that our clothes are increasingly made of plastic. Seventy percent of plastic-derived fabrics come from polyester, and polyester requires a lot of energy, which means burning fuel for power and contributing to climate change.

The majority of plastic winds up in landfill where it remains indefinitely. This has many environmental impacts including upsetting the food chain, groundwater pollution, land pollution, air pollution and injury, entanglement, or suffocation of wildlife.

Buying 100% organic cotton, Tencel and hemp fabric clothing will help reduce the amount of plastic pollution you contribute to the environment! Pop instore during our January sale to begin replacing your unsustainable clothing with some ethical, sustainable goods. Just remember to recycle your old clothes first!

2. Fewer microplastics entering the ocean

Synthetic high-performance fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic or spandex, are known to shed a lot of microplastic fibres, making them a major pollutant as compared to cotton fabrics. Every time you wash your garments in the washing machine, millions of pieces of tiny fibres are released, of which around half a million tonnes every year contribute to ocean pollution – 16 times more than plastic microbeads from cosmetics.

Microplastics in the ocean cause concern due to their negative environmental and health impacts. It has been estimated that, on the current track, there could be more plastics than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050. These small plastic particles are also digested by aquatic organisms throughout the food chain, which causes starvation and stunted growth in some species. Those who eat fish consume thousands of microplastic particles through their diet every year.

Organic cotton and handspun fabrics shed natural fibres, reducing your personal impact on the planet. We stock a variety of 100% organic cotton, Tencel, hemp fabric clothing, bamboo socks and fair trade wool garments on our website. Treat yourself and the environment by buying something in our sale!

3. Sustainable production protects soil

Conventional cotton is not the natural fibre many believe it to be, but it is actually one of the world's most lethal crops. Whilst the total area dedicated to cotton growing hasn't changed significantly since the 1950s, the output has nearly tripled during over this time. This increase in output is largely due to the pesticides and fertilizers used in conventional cotton production.

Pesticides are a group of chemicals that incorporate insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, defoliants and growth regulators. Heavy treatment of soil with pesticides can cause populations of beneficial soil microorganisms to decline, which reduces soil fertility, leads to soil salinisation and causes pest resistance, water pollution and presents a risk to biodiversity.

So instead of buying conventional cotton in 2018, treat yourself or your loved ones to 100% organic cotton and educate others about the nasty effects of conventional cotton!

4. It generally ensures safe employment

Much of the fast fashion industry is infamous for its low wages and unsafe working conditions for garment workers. By buying ethical, fair-trade clothing you are also helping the lives of those who work in clothing production, by ensuring that they are working in safe conditions and are paid fairly.

5. It's gentler on your skin

The chemical residue trapped within the threads of non-organic cottons and fabrics can cause irritated skin, rashes and even headaches and dizziness. Organic cotton and other sustainable materials, on the other hand, are sooo soft and gentle, making them especially perfect for babies and their tender, developing skin. Plus, organic materials don't come with any of the negative environmental and social effects. Win, win! 

6. Sustainable clothing lasts longer

The final benefit to sustainable clothing that we are sharing today (though there are countless benefits!) is that sustainable clothing lasts longer. This means that you are far less likely to chuck it in the bin, which will then end up in landfill, and instead treasure your sustainable pieces for years to come! 

Once washed, conventional cotton fibre naturally begins to break. This fibre breakage can begin as soon as after the twentieth wash with non-organic cotton. Organic cotton can last up to five times longer than non-organic cotton so won’t begin to break until at least the hundredth wash. So although organic clothing is a little more expensive than non-organic clothing, in the long term they work out much cheaper due to their longevity. But with our January sale, you don't need to worry about the price anyway! We've got your back.