(MESS) Marple, Mellor and Marple Bridge Energy Saving Strategy – Community Project

We have become a consumer-led society where commodities are bought cheaply and disposed of quickly. Our clothes are a good example of this. We think nothing of discarding clothes after only a couple of wears, because they cost so little. Many are disposed in land-fill, causing carbon release and pollution. As consumers we can all play a part to preserve our beautiful planet, reduce carbon emissions and leave a better legacy to pass on to our children. If we all make small changes we can have a big impact. 

There are many levels to be considered in the manufacture of clothing, leaving the consumer feeling powerless to influence decisions. But we can all be agents for positive change. We can question our political leaders on the ethical and sustainable manufacturing of clothing. For example, is renewable energy used in the production process? We are purchasing more from the internet, think waste packaging, is this recyclable?

We need ‘Circular Fashion’ where clothes are bought, worn, then re-enter the chain, reworked and used again and again. We need to prevent ‘Land Fill’ and protect our planet.

Attitudes to buying clothes are beginning to change with around two-thirds buying or considering buying second-hand, (pre-worn) clothes. The re-sale market is growing twenty-one times faster than retail competitors. Our fashion conscious children are taking the lead to set a good example.

Why is second-hand so popular?

With an ever-increasing on-line presence, ‘Social Influencers’, are copied and new looks emulated. Selling and buying ‘pre loved/worn’ clothes gives opportunities to change our wardrobes, have a new look for each occasion without it costing a fortune.

These days, we are far more aware of the sustainability problems associated with the fashion industry which is one of the world’s most polluting and wasteful industries, and one of the most exploitative, with concerns around modern slavery. Fortunately, some retailers are changing to produce clothing that is ethical and promotes sustainability – but at a hefty price. So how do we go about dressing well without it costing the earth (literally)!?

MESS does not have all the answers but are raising the questions in the hope of finding solutions. We hope you will share your ideas with MESS so together we can expand this ‘Clothing Project’ and together make our world a better place.


1. A private fashion-show! Invite a friend over, and host a private fashion show to judge if you should ‘wear’ or ‘discard’ an outfit. Clear out these clothes, this leaves space to re-discover new items and room for the outfits to keep. Experiment with different combinations of clothing in your wardrobe and copy ideas from your well-dressed pals or celebrities.

2. Outfit repeats Change the way you feel about wearing outfits more than a few times. Celebrate outfit repeating rather than scorn it! When you’re buying clothes ask yourself ‘will I wear this more than 40 times?’ If ‘no,’ put it back on the rack!

3. An orderly Fashion Keep summer and winter wardrobes separate! Then, at the start of each season, re-discover the old stuff – it’ll be almost like you’ve been shopping!

4. Beg or borrow Use your pals and beg and borrow stuff! Create a Facebook group of Fashion between you? Or use a Fashion Rental Service such as Mywardrobe HQ or ByRotation.

5. New to You! Buying stuff ‘new to you’ from charity, vintage shops or Ebay is a great way to find those pre-loved garments at a fraction of the price.

6. Make Do & Mend If you can, enlist on a sewing course or use tutorials on Youtube to re-vamp clothes in your wardrobe — adapt old jeans, add a new set of buttons, turn rips into design features – the possibilities are endless and you’ll stand out from the crowd!

7. Check out Dead-stock For those too squeamish to consider strangers’ cast-offs, check out Dead-stock on Etsy or Ebay for those new items that didn’t quite cut it, to land on our high streets, due to small defects, over-supply or end-of-lines. Agencies may have unwanted items at a bargain price.

8. Good on You Before you buy, do your research! The App ‘Good On You’ rates thousands of brands on their treatment of people and the environment, rating them from ‘great’ to ‘avoid’, to help you make informed choices about your purchases.

9. Challenge yourself to stop! Better still, stop! Set yourself a realistic, achievable goal – a timescale you can commit to where you cannot buy anything new for a period of 6 months perhaps? Less if that’s too tricky? Unsubscribe from shopping emails, and unfollow influencers trying to seduce you into buying. Replace these with more sustainable fashion retailers @theniftythrifter and @styleandsustain.

10. Reward Yourself If you are thrifty and shop less you will have more money saved. Buy something sustainable or spend in a way that gives you joy! Good Luck! Happy Green shopping!

Charity Shops in Marple you might like to brouse around!

Red Cross, Derby Way, Marple take in fabric items even that they can’t sell in the shop, due to being worn out etc, so just mark them up as rags when handing in items – they can still get money for them (at the present time you have to ring and arrange a drop off time). You could always ring the Red Cross and find out exactly what they do with them if you need to.

Cancer Research Market Street, Marple

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust Hollins Lane

If you have any ideas, please email MESS. This is an ongoing project and we would love you to become involved You may be local and making clothes to sell.

MESS, Marple, Mellor and Marple Bridge Energy Saving Strategy Your local community project which aims to promote carbon reduction, raise awareness of climate change and find local solutions to some of the resulting problems

Website. www.marplemess.org.uk

email: [email protected]

We would welcome your views and contributions.