Here at Beyond Retro, we love selling vintage, secondhand and upcycled clothing in an effort to re-home 10 billion items in an ongoing effort to keep the planet sustainable! Alongside our parent company Bank and Vogue, we re homed 90 million items last year and we continue to keep on growing whilst continually finding new ways to better our output. We are always trying to find new ways to be sustainable, from the product we offer to the way we run our business, every little bit helps. As a team, we love learning new ways to be more environmentally conscious in different ways!
So to celebrate Earth Day, we'd thought we'd share our favourite helpful tips to reduce your environmental impact in very simple, easy ways.
1. Buy Second Hand
It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt, over 5000 to make one pair of jeans and each year, global clothing manufacture use the same electricity that all UK households need for 10 years, and that's just the start!
Shopping vintage and second hand can greatly reduce your impact on the world around you. There are of course our stores and online shop, plus plenty of other vintage stores all over the UK, charity shops can also be great for finding a bargain for a good cause. You can also shop online with eBay and Etsy, apps like Depop and even head to a car boot sale, clothes swapping event or try swapping with your mates!
2. Let Clothes Dry Naturally
Your clothes dryer is the second most electrically draining home appliance, using around 2400 watts per hour. Not only will hanging up your wet clothes make the environment and your clothes happy, but you can save yourself over £1,000 in 18 months from your energy bills too!
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Firstly, look into the recycling rules in your area, as most of us aren't entirely sure what you should be recycling with only 1/3 of plastic packaging being recycled in the UK.
As well as recycling your household waste, consider how your daily life could be affecting the planet. Start sending emails instead of cards that are likely to be chucked, avoid using a printer when possible, invest in glass Tupperware instead of plastic tubs, donate unwanted items to friends, family or charities, or sell on!
Instead of throwing stuff out when it's broken, try fixing it instead, you might just learn a new skill in the process! You might even find a new use for an item, an old wool jumper, you can reuse the wool to knit something new or maybe an old pair of jeans that can be cut into shorts.
You can find out more about how to care for your clothing with our vintage care guide.
4. Check Sustainability
Shop around and select appliances with high energy efficient ratings, use renewable energy sources and buy locally where possible. All these little things combined could make a big difference!
5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
Stay on top of this by keeping a carrier bag or a tote bag in your pocket when you leave the house, even if you aren't planning on buying anything. Since the new carrier bag charge, you'll save an extra 5p per outing too.
6. Say No To Single Use Plastics
Single-use plastics such as plastic cutlery, carrier bags and drinking straws are a major source of marine litter which is why cutting down on these sorts of products is so necessary. As well as providing your own bags, be sure to say no to disposable forks and the likes as much as possible. You can buy single and multi packs of reusable straws online for as little as £5.
Another way to avoid single-use plastic is to invest in reusable coffee cups and water bottles to keep with you!
7. Holiday Helpfully
Research your destination before visiting to make sure it's not an environmentally sensitive area and go off-season if that option is available to you. Sounds obvious but don't leave your litter on the beach or disturb animals in their habitats either!
8. Dispose Responsibly
Some things just aren't recyclable but items like batteries and light bulbs are hazardous to the environment. Contact your local council to see where to drop these used products safely and consider investing in rechargeable batteries and energy-saving light bulbs.
9. You Are What You Eat
Well, not literally but sparing a thought to where your food comes from can go a long way. Shop locally where possible, buy fruit and vegetables that are in season to minimise shipping costs, imported off-season fruit and vegetables need air, sea and land transport to make it into your local supermarket. Only add non-endangered fish species to your basket, consume less meat where you can or even give vegetarianism or veganism a go! A recent study showed that a widespread switch to vegetarianism would cut emissions by nearly two-thirds! Avoid ingredients such as palm oil that causes mass deforestation during production. If you have a garden, try growing your own vegetables!
10. Switch Off
Switching off your electronics at the wall after using them can massively help cut down on your negative environmental impact. Double check you've turned off everything at the office before heading home and try not to fall asleep in front of the TV.
These 10 helpful tips on keeping sustainable can help to reduce your impact on the environment!