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Calls to change shopping habits that are 'destroying our planet'

Every year, 300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing goes into landfill in the UK.

Clothing has the fourth largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food, according to the organisation WRAP.

To make clothes it uses about 20% of the world's potable water, the drinkable water - so that has a huge impact.

To make one pair of jeans uses about 7-10,000 litres of water - just one pair - that's the same amount of water one person would probably drink in about five years. So just the impact on water is incredible.

– Michael Lomotey, Clothes Aid

To tackle the problem, several businesses in Wales are trying to create more sustainable clothes using recycled fabrics to help reduce the amount of waste, which could be damaging the planet.

After going to music festivals across the UK, Welsh fashion designer Beth noticed that hundreds of tents were being left to waste. Seeing them sparked the idea for her business.

Hundreds of tents are wasted after music festivals. Credit: Billygoats & Raincoats

The fabric can be recycled again, you know they're made in the UK, they're made in fair working conditions and you know that every single coat is unique.

We could get four coats out of a two-man tent.

– Beth Cosmos, Billygoats & Raincoats
Beth collects abandoned tents from festivals to reuse. Credit: Billygoats & Raincoats

And Beth's not alone in creating an environmentally friendly business in Wales.

Heidi-Louise Griffiths co-founded the company MAYHKER, which tries to use less waste in its manufacturing.

The fashion industry has had a really negative reputation for a really long time now and I think it's important in order to address a lot of these problems that people stop, analyse what has gone from and do things better...

We are using a lot of vegetable tans in our products and smaller things as well like trying to eliminate waste and reducing our plastic consumption, small things have big impacts.

– Heidi-Louise Griffiths, MAYKHER director

One lecturer at the University of South Wales says more of us need to change our shopping habits.

Throwing away clothes and the environment completely destroys our planet.. the majority of clothes will go into landfill or be burned so if you can imagine burning polyester garments which are made of oil into the atmosphere, that's not a good place. That's not where we want to be.

Along with a garment, you've got buttons on there, you've got zips on there. Those metals can be corrosive to the environment. Most fabrics are made from oil that doesn't go anywhere, that doesn't decompose, that destroys wildlife.

– Sarah Lees, fashion lecturer

Last year, a Commons Select Committee on the environment began an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry. The committee chair said we don't know how to recycle our 'end-of-life' clothing. But one charity has come up with answer.

We come round to people's houses so it's an absolutely easy service to use. We come to your home and we'll take the stuff away and turn it into cash for charities.

– Michael Lomotey, Clothes Aid