Jennifer Ulloa

From closet to conscious: navigating clothing waste as a uni student

Top ways you can become a more mindful shopper as a university student.
1 min Read

As university students, your lives are probably filled with lectures, assignments, and social activities. In the midst of our busy schedules, it's easy to overlook the impact of our clothing choices on the environment. 

However, the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global waste and pollution.

In this blog, we'll explore the issue of clothing waste, its environmental and social impacts, and practical steps that students can take to reduce their fashion footprint (but still look amazing of course!)

The problem with fast fashion

Fast fashion has revolutionised the way we shop for clothing, offering trendy styles at affordable prices. 

However, this convenience comes at a cost. The rapid pace of production and consumption in the fast fashion industry leads to overproduction, excessive waste, and exploitation of workers in garment factories. 

Clothing items are often designed to be worn for only a short period before being discarded, contributing to the growing problem of clothing waste.

Learn  more about fast fashion through this video here about the Shein effect

Fast fashion is also unsustainable in the realm of human rights. In some cases, workers are paid less than £1 an hour for work. This is called modern slavery and it goes against the European Convention of Human Rights.

Learn more about the effects of modern slavery through our course, Modern Slavery Training, for all faculty and students.

Ways to get involved as a university student

Donate old or unwanted clothing

Find a donation point for your unwanted clothing and textiles. Aside from charity shops, there are numerous points throughout Edinburgh where you can drop off and donate your clothing. 

Simply add your post code here and search for a nearby drop off point. 

Skip the St. James Quarter and head to Stockbridge for charity shopping

That’s right, we love a good shopping centre as much as the next person but sadly buying clothing for it to just remain in our closets for months on end is unsustainable. 

Next time you have a party or concert to attend, why not try out shopping preloved? 

If you live in Edinburgh, Stockbridge and Morningside are full of amazing charity shops supporting causes like the British Heart Foundation, The Red Cross and a few of our favourites like: 

Just to name a few. You will definitely be able to find something at one of these!

Alternatively, you may want to try shopping at Vinted or Depop, or even commission something to be handmade by an artist off of Etsy.

Make sustainable clothing habits a social activity

Why not make shopping sustainable a fun and social activity? One of our favourite Edinburgh events has to be The Shore Vintage Night Market ran by fashionista & depop seller Tamara Hawkes.

Events run monthly and are so much fun to attend with a friend...Edinburgh fashion girlies unite!

Get the word out

You would be surprised how leading by example and getting the word out goes a long way. Have a look at the University of Edinburgh's student initiatives and organisations on more ways you can get involved.

Final remarks

Finally, don't forget to check Pawprint out and get signed up. We have over 600+ actions for you to choose from and you can think of us as your eco-companion helping you make more sustainable choices.

Find out more

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