What's in the Dutch national wardrobe?
A new study on mass production and subsequent wastage of clothing is out. Find out more here...
A paper published by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (‘Measuring the Dutch clothing mountain: Data for sustainability-oriented studies and actions in the apparel sector’) has examined the culture of mass apparel production, its subsequent wastage, and ways to improvement the situation.
The research focused on data gathered from the UK, Denmark, Germany, France and the Netherlands to recommend solutions to the current situation in which there is an increasing amount of wastage in the garment sector.
On average, the study reports, consumers in the Netherlands purchased 46 items of clothing per year - fewer than other the other nationalities studied. They dispose of, on average, 40 items per annum, of which: 24 are thrown away in household waste, 5 are unsuitable for reuse but can can be recycled, 2 are re-wearable (but not by international second-hand standards), and 9 are suitable for resale on the international second-hand market. The average number of items per wardrobe was 173, of which 123 are ‘in active use’ with 50 items not being worn for at least one year.
The study - written by a consortium of partners including the university, NGOs, companies, charitable organizations and knowledge institutions - states: “One of the aims of this project is to highlight the importance of growing clothing volumes.” Whereas other similar research papers have concentrated on “promoting the use of organic or recycled materials," this study states: “Although this line of action is certainly valuable and needed, it should be complemented with solutions to maintain or reduce the quantity of clothing made and discarded.”