A few months ago, I wrote this post – all about the importance of wearing our clothes for longer in the interests of the environment. For running clothes, it should be particularly as they don’t even ‘need’ to match.
Buying too many clothes and not getting full use out of them is bad for the environment both in terms of the manufacturing process and disposal. While many of us pass clothing on to charity, a ridiculous 300,000 tonnes of used clothing still ends up in landfill in the UK every year.
A friend on Twitter , who have I never met, read my post and told me about a fantastic website – ReRun Clothing. The aim of the community interest company is to prolong the life of running clothes and equipment and save them from landfill. ReRun tells us that extending the life of clothes by just nine months of active use would reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by around 20-30% each. That sounds like something well worth doing.
So how do they go about it? ReRun sell second-hand running clothes and also upcycle them to make something new – like a race tee mash-up made of two or more running Tshirts. I was very impressed – by both the the message and the stock.
But one thing on the site really caught my eye – an Under Armour running jacket. Under Armour is a brand I particularly like, although I’ve never had any of their stuff myself. My husband and son both wear it. I was also in the market for a new running coat – I’d been wearing my previous one since 2011 (yes, I really do practise what I preach). I mentioned the coat to my friend and she told me that ‘someone’ ‘might’ have already bought it.
Christmas came and I finally got a new running jacket (it appears on my Instagram pretty much every Sunday), which I was very pleased with. Then out of the blue my Twitter friend messaged and asked me if I wanted the Under Armour jacket. She’d only worn it once and didn’t think she would wear it again. She knew I’d had my eye on in and didn’t want to see it go to waste.
For a moment, I thought about saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’, as I’d got a new coat after all. But then I thought about the amount of running I’m doing at the moment with my marathon training – and the amount of rain and mud I’ve been encountering. Getting a second coat actually seemed like a pretty good idea. And I knew for a fact that I would wear it for many years to come.
I asked her how much she wanted for it and she said ‘nothing’, unless I wanted to sponsor her to do Ride London. My husband has done Ride London (a 100 mile bike ride) in the past and I’m in awe of anyone who can do it. So of course I sponsored her.
So I got a ‘new’ coat, saved it from landfill and extended its life, a friend did me a good turn and she raised a little bit of money for charity. All in all, it worked out very well for all of us.
If we could all live our lives like this more often, it would go some small way to reducing waste and improving our own carbon and water footprints.