Overconsumption: What is it and what can we do about it?

Today we discuss what is overconsumption, how it affects our daily lives, and what we can do to tackle it.

Overconsumption: What is it and what can we do about it?

The Wikipedia definition says that “Overconsumption describes a situation where the use of a natural resource has exceeded the sustainable capacity of a system. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to the eventual loss of resource bases”.

Generally, the discussion about overconsumption runs parallel to the debate on human overpopulation. In other words, the more people there are, the more raw materials are consumed to sustain them. However, the general impact of humanity on the planet is influenced by far more factors than the total number of people. Our lifestyle as human beings and the pollution we generate are equally important

How overconsumption affects the textile industry

According to the European Parliament, “Since 1996, the amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40% following a sharp fall in prices, which has reduced the life span of clothing”.

It is clear that the textile industry has grown at such a dizzying pace that it has become unsustainable for the planet. Looking at the following points, we can see that the textile industry is definitely not sustainable. 

  • At present, 150 billion tonnes of garments are produced every year worldwide.
  • Brands lower their prices to encourage impulse buys.
  • 80 billion tonnes of garments are purchased annually, and each garment is used 7 times on average.
  • 10% of CO2 emissions are produced by the textile industry.

What are the main points of action: get informed, learn, and take action!

Overconsumption has a negative effect on the environment and brands, suppliers, and consumers must do all they can to prevent it. The solution begins with responsible action from industry players to educate consumers and to show a willingness to reduce waste. We must learn to design, produce, and consume in a responsible and a circular way, with the understanding that new business models must be more open and transparent.

What can we do in our daily lives to tackle overconsumption?

As consumers, which all of us are, we must take responsibility and act accordingly, opening our eyes and getting rid of bad habits. The only way to combat overconsumption is to reduce, reduce and reduce our culture of consumption.

  • Buy less and buy better: To prevent overconsumption, as far as possible, avoid brands in the textile industry that promote impulse buying with unjustifiable prices or preposterous discounts. At BCOME, we always value quality over quantity. Second-hand purchases and renting are also excellent options.
  • Be informed: Avoid fabrics that have a high environmental impact and stick to lower-impact natural materials; if you aren’t sure about the difference, just ask us. Take good care of your clothes and mend them. Make sure you wash them only when necessary, at low temperatures and in short cycles.
  • Extend the lifecycle of your wardrobe: If you grow bored of your clothes, you can donate them, swap them, or even sell them on a number of online platforms. Extending their life span is critical. Remember that there are organisations that collect unwanted clothes to give them to people who can’t afford clothes or that put them on the second-hand market. These same organisations sort through them and, if an item is no longer useable as a garment, it is recycled so its fibres can be reused. You can find containers for clothing collection in supermarkets or at local council rubbish collection points.

Follow our blog, and get the answers that fashion industry needs to kick-start its transformation towards circularity. Below we share what the most relevant post for you to read on this topic:

The power is in your hands to start the change and show that small actions do have a direct impact. Want to find out more about sustainable industry and its transformation towards more honest products? Subscribe to our blog now!

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