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Tim silverwood

Educator, environmentalist

Do you have a love story in your wardrobe?

For me there is nothing quite like going to your local op-shop and finding that item which is just perfect. I think if this pair of RM Williams boots that I saw in a local op shop and you think “ooh, are they going to fit? Are they going to be the one?” And you slip them on and it is a Cinderella moment.. and they work and it is just AHH! Second hand clothing that just works!

Question: What’s one tip you live by to extend the life of your clothes?

Definitely concerned at the moment about the increase in synthetic textiles. We are now understanding that when you wash synthetic clothing it sheds fibers which then end up in our water ways and our oceans and affect wildlife. So, I think a really big lesson is only wash when you need to wash. There is no point washing for the sake of washing because you are going to have and environmental impact. This also opens up the option of trying not to use so many synthetic fibers and trying to maintain those natural fibers.

Question: What’s your rule when buying clothes for yourself?

Definitely buying second hand. We just live in this time where new textiles are flooding onto the market through fast fashion and it all has an impact on people and the planet so buying second hand, going to your op shops and vintage stores and keeping these clothes in circulation is a fantastic lesson and, as we know, you look better too!

The environmental pollution of conventional cotton is so high that Consulting firm McKinsey has estimated that if all the pollution from cotton was factored into its price, the price would rise by about 500%!
— Fashion Revolution (2015)