Free Your Stuff

Let’s Talk About Water

Despite the earth being over 70% water only 0.3% of that is available to be used by humans and even then much of this is hard to reach or polluted.

Living in Britain it can be hard to imagine that water shortage could ever be an issue.

However it is becoming an increasing issue around the world with the California, Brazil, South Africa, Puerto Rico and North Korea all currently suffering their worst droughts for years.

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Our lifestyles are putting increasing pressure on the freshwater supplies we have available. When most people think of saving water they think of turning the tap off when doing your teeth and taking a shorter shower. Whilst these are good methods of saving water are their other things we can be doing?

The average UK household only uses 150 litres of water a day whilst it takes around 9,982 litres of water to produce a single pair of jeans and 2,495 litres of water to produce a t-shirt.

This means it takes over two months water use just to produce one pair of jeans. Considering the perception that most clothes go out of fashion in a few months, then maybe we need to start thinking about the impact our clothes buying habits are having on water shortages around the world.


So what can you do about it? Extending the life of a piece of clothing by just three months can cut both the water and carbon emissions by 10% and there are some pretty simple ways to do this, and save money.

For starters you can share and swap your clothes and unwanted items instead of always buying them new.

Why not come along to our clothes and books swap at Aston University on the 3rd May? or check out to find similar events near you? Or how about give or ask for items on our Free Your Stuff Facebook page?

Another thing you can do, is start to buy from more sustainable shops such as charity shops, local shops or shops that make items designed to last a long time.

Nudie jeans for example allow free repairs for life to their jeans greatly increasing the lifespan of a pair of jeans compared to a pair of high street jeans that seem to fall apart after a couple of months.

Perhaps it’s time to start talking about the hidden water that is in everything we import.

This movement of water takes millions of litres of water away from areas where it is in limited supply. Droughts effect over 53 million people each year, with that figure expected to rise as climate change causes more extreme weather events such as the increasing effects of El Nino.

A photo by Jared Erondu.

So maybe, next time your button falls off, sew it back on. Instead of throwing the top away. Keep those magical days of dancing in the rain a reality, not just a far-fetched fantasy.


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