I took a test to calculate how much my wardrobe was really impacting the environment

I took a test to calculate how much my wardrobe was really impacting the environment
PHOTO: ThredUp

There's just something about going through a pandemic that makes you question your impact on the world.

On one hand, most of us (including me) are all #WFH and very used to other acronyms such as LOA and CB, which give us ample time to be alone with our thoughts, tons of excess energy and nowhere to expend it.

And as I finish my writing in record time, my eyes occasionally glaze over to an online shopping site. I'd tell myself I'll "just browse".

Besides, I'm stuck inside, right? What else am I going to do? And there's only so much YouTube I can watch and FaceTiming I can do with my friends.

Two hours later, there are five things in my shopping cart. But just as I was about to click "purchase now", I asked myself, where am I even wearing all these items to? From my bedroom to the living room?


And with the global situation getting worse and the amount of local cases increasing everyday in Singapore, working remotely (especially if you're privileged enough to do so) will most likely be the new norm for the next couple of months.

So when I chanced upon this fashion footprint calculator online, I figured since I'm already in the process of slowing down my consumption, why not take a look at seeing how much environmental impact my wardrobe has caused (or is causing) to the world?

So the calculator is not a randomly generated website. It was started by US company thredUP, a consignment and thrift store that claims to be committed to saving the planet from fashion waste.

The quiz itself has 11 questions that range from how often you buy clothing to where you purchase them and how often you return them, complete with little animated stats to showcase how harmful shopping can be to the world.

And at the end of the quiz, the website gives you recommendations on how you can decrease your impact with the help of thredUP's partners.

Here's my results, and if you're keen on trying it out, click the link here!

My fashion footprint is... Medium Low!

It could be a mix of having more disposable income and constantly reading about the pollution fast fashion companies are contributing to, but drastically reducing my fast fashion intake and being more careful with my purchases has really helped to reduce my consumption.

But, my wardrobe for the past year has contributed enough emissions for 6.8 flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

This isn’t to say I’m a model consumer. Bear in mind, the questions only asked my habits from the past year, so if I were to accumulate beyond that, it would be way more than this.

I contribute 1046lbs (or 474kg) worth of carbon emissions.

As you can see, I consume less than 35 per cent than the average consumer, but that still comes up to 474kg worth of carbon emissions!

This article was first published in CLEO Singapore.

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