Earth Week: Reuse, Share, Upcycle & More

Used with Permission: Big Dreams Little Footprints

One of the most wonderful things that ClimateMama has brought to me, is the connections, new and old, that I have made across the country and around the world. Meeting Climate Mamas and Papas who understand the climate emergency – and in spite of this have chosen creative and innovative ways to tackle the crisis head on, for their children and all of ours –  gives me hope, strength, courage and keep me going. I am thrilled to introduce you to one of these wonderful people,  a new friend from Scotland, Anya – founder of Big Dreams Little Footprints. Anya has created a simple and fun fashion waste (less) campaign, with a powerful message that is now active, #pollutionispants. Read on, as Anya  explains how the campaign works and how you can join in!

Pollution is Pants:

Hi. My name is Anya and I live in Eastern Scotland with my young family. I’m co-organizing a fashion waste campaign called #pollutionispants between 8th and 25th April in the lead up to Fashion Revolution Week. The campaign focuses on celebrating our collective efforts to keep clothes out of the bin when we buy second-hand, wear our family’s clothes, swap items with friends or get creative and upcycle what we already own. It invites you to tells us the stories behind the clothes you wear.

The campaign is an upbeat, positive one. It celebrates our efforts to reduce our fashion footprint by wearing pre-worn clothes, but crucially, aims to encourage us to do more by politicizing what we wear. Reducing your environmental impact may not be your primary motivation for wearing second-hand clothes but knowing that you, along with thousands of others, are having a modest but important impact when you keep clothes in play, is important to spell out. It will hopefully encourage people to take extra special care of what they own – to be guardians rather than owners of their clothes – and to explore the rapidly expanding online second-hand market before they buy brand new.

I’m guessing that most of us have only been wearing about 1% of our wardrobes over the past year and have long forgotten what we actually own! So you might enjoy, as I have, digging out some old favourites for a bit of a dress-up. The only catch – the challenge! – is that the clothes have to have been worn by someone else before you came to own them. I, along with a bunch of friends, family and perfect strangers have been posting selfies of our favourite preloved clothes since last Thursday and it’s opened up wonderful conversations, across the world, about attitudes towards second-hand clothes.

My line of work is how to raise children to consume wisely; to tackle ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ head on. To get kids on board the ‘lesson’ has to be fun else it won’t be effective. This campaign has proven an effective tool in starting conversations with children about keeping clothes out of the bin because you’re talking about putting underpants on your head! I knew I was onto a winner because it was my 6-year-old who came up with the idea in the first place. She did an entire ‘fashion show’ wearing only my underpants – on her head, around her neck, as backless ‘tops’ and makeshift skirts. I thought – why do kids get to have all the fun?

And of course if you spend less when you wear second-hand, you have more money in your pocket to buy better when you do buy brand new. It’s so important that we raise the next generation to be informed consumers, where wearing second-hand and buying better is the default.

Please join the campaign between now and 25th April. We’d love to see you there – Pollution is Pants — Big dreams, little footprints

Anya Hart Dyke is author of ‘Our throwaway society – raising children to consume wisely’ (2020).

PS: Your favorite ClimateMama has joined the craz…#pollutionispants…wearing fun dress that belonged to my daugHter. xoxo

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