“I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now…” Sustainable fashion

Image: Falmouth Joins The Fashion Declares Movement, Student Stories, University News, News Stories, Home, Falmouth University 04/02/2022

By Jenny Glas

“I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now, I’m gonna go to a disco in the middle of the town. Everybody’s dressing up, I’m dressing down…”

Trouser shopping. A real nightmare.

Strictly speaking I’ve got one pair of jeans that I wear consistently. They are “vintage” levis, for want of a better term. 

I like them so much that I haven’t bought another pair of denim bottoms for fear that they won’t match up to my all time favourites. They have rainbow stripes attached – sewn on by a stylish retailer at Park Street Bristol. Urban style and hard wearing, I would not change them for the world.

Did you know that it takes 10,000 litres of water to make one pair of jeans? This was a fact I had learned in one of my first GCSE geography classes, at only 11 years old it was already an inspiring and informative introduction to the works of globalisation. We discovered how our fashion system operates and the labour involved from a human and environmental perspective.

We’re watching more than ever before, second hand sales and upcycling become a growing trend, as well as thrifting and other ways of extending product life. Having a best friend working in sustainable textiles, I am full of hope for the future of clothing as we quietly work towards a fairly traded and earth friendly market. I am in awe of the work and dedication that is being showcased by students and working creatives at the University of Falmouth. Seaside photographs flood my newsfeed alongside pictures of an industry that grows in a healthy and flourishing format. For further details on how the university is supporting sustainable futures in the clothing industry please see the article Falmouth joins the Fashion Declares movement from the Fashion and Textiles Institute. 

This image was taken from Georgina’s beautiful portfolio on design futures.

Stereotypical student life can feel a little like living inside a soundtrack at times and I’d say The View sings it loud and clear: “I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now, I’m gonna go to a disco in the middle of the town. Everybody’s dressing up, I’m dressing down…” Toot toot toot. Still remembering to change my clothes whilst dashing from place to place is something I may never get the hang of, but hey, I feel like that’s the fun of living well sometimes.

For one thing – I love jumpers. I’ve found myself realising that I would not trade in the ones I own for anything, because they have memories attached to them. I didn’t realise that the Topshop knitwear selection I had always known and loved would be so difficult to part with, seemingly because they were the clothes I had bought on a shopping trip with some of my friends before taking our GCSE exams. Afterwards I would be wearing the same sweater whilst sitting next to my Grandpa as he took me for a trip in his favourite car. The mustard yellow overtones and light dusty smell of the pullover were enough to cast me back to this time – I was nostalgic and sentimental. Handling grief during a pandemic has brought new meaning to the things we hold dear – to quote my favourite childhood author: “The things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect”. This means I won’t manage to give away all of my garments in a hurry, now that I’ve begun to understand the personal and environmental factors involved.

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