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EMMANUEL GREENCHURCH

We aim to help our Church become a more sustainable one to better care for God’s creation through our worship, use of our buildings and land, links with the local and global community, and the individual lifestyles of our Church Family, as part of the Eco Church scheme run by A Rocha UK.

Here’s just a few of the things we aim to do in 2022:

  • Worship Build on what we do with more outdoor services and activities for all ages

  • Buildings Look at the energy efficiency of all our church buildings

  • Land Work with our Garden Group to manage our land for the benefit of all

  • Communities Promote our work with the local community (eg Project 5000 and work with our Tithe Committee to review links with our parish in Tanzania)

  • Lifestyles Encourage our Church Family to assess their carbon footprint

The Great Fashion Fast - March 2022

By Kat and Esther Marjoribanks

The clothing industry is the biggest producer of carbon dioxide in our world. I didn’t know this until I saw that Tearfund were holding a ‘Great Fashion Fast’ campaign in March 2022. The aim was to highlight the impact that the clothing industry has on climate change, and challenge people to wear just 10 items of clothing for a whole month. Those 10 items didn’t include uniforms, pyjamas, sports kit or underwear, but it did include a coat.

I decided to sign up; sustainable and planet-friendly clothing has been something I’ve been thinking about for the past few years. I was delighted when my mum and my daughter (Esther, 7) wanted to do it with me too. Choosing the 10 items was tricky because I wear a mixture of smart and casual clothes, depending on what I’m doing day-to-day. On top of that, I was going to a wedding in the middle of the month so I had to come up with an outfit that could be dressed up for the occasion, but that didn’t look too over the top at other times too!

So, how did it feel wearing such a limited selection of clothes for a month? Most of the time it was fine. I enjoyed the pressure being lifted of choosing the ‘perfect’ outfit each day, and there was less washing to do! It was freeing in some ways to have the focus taken off my appearance. But on the other hand, it felt a bit dull, like I’d lost some of my self-expression. I asked Esther what she had thought of it and she said, ‘I think it was important to do because it showed that we don’t need as many clothes as we have.’

I also felt humbled by my privilege. I have so many clothes. I actually counted 140 items of clothing in my wardrobe (36% of which already come from ‘low impact’ sources such as charity shops, second hand, or eco fabrics). I was conscious of it being a privilege to choose to limit the number of clothes I wore when there are millions around the world, and in this country, who do not have that choice.

(Not so) Fun-Facts:

  • A single pair of jeans requires 1kg of cotton which though degradable, requires about 7,500-10,000 litres of water to produce

  • The textile dyeing process uses enough water to fill 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools each year

  • Clothes made from non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years

  • The equivalent of one rubbish truck full of clothes is put in a landfill every second

  • The fashion industry generates 20% of global wastewater

I was also shocked to learn some more details about the impact the clothing industry has on the world (see below). A world that was created in love to reflect God’s glory, and yet is being damaged and destroyed by humans. I finished the month with three resolutions:

  1. To reduce the items of clothing in my wardrobe down to 100. No-one needs more than that, and arguably it should be lower still, but I believe strongly in making decisions that are slow and sustainable rather than dramatic and short-lived!

  2. Redress the balance of ‘earth-and-people-friendly’ clothing to make up at least 50% of my wardrobe

  3. To not buy any new items of clothing for the rest of the year that are not from ‘low impact sources’.

I think that changing the way we shop for clothes, and the decisions we make about what we wear are an important for all of us to consider. We don’t all have to make huge changes, but even little differences will have an impact. And it’s not just about being kind to the earth. It’s about recognising that God created the earth, that he created it with goodness and beauty. It’s about acknowledging that the selfishness and sin of humans has caused destruction and brokenness to God’s good world. But that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ the process of restoring that goodness has begun and playing out part in being kind to the earth and its resources is about joining in with that restoration which will one day be complete when Jesus returns to make a new heaven and a new earth.

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TIP OF THE WEEK!

Use refills for essentials like shampoo, conditioner, and cleaning sprays rather than buying a new bottle of each when you run out. You can also use bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar for cleaning the bathtub and sink, which works really well.

 

If you have got a useful hint or tip that we can pass on then do let us know and we’ll feature it here.

LOOKING AHEAD...

We want to make this GreenChurch page lively and interesting, so in the months ahead we will have features on eco-shopping in and around Loughborough, what it was like to take part in the Great Fashion Fast and more.

We will also be planning something special for our families and children over the summer and are already looking ahead to Creationtide and the Great Big Green Event Week from 24 September to 2 October 2022.

OUR NEXT GATHERING...

...will be on Saturday 2 July 2022 at Emmanuel Loughborough from 10am - come and join us. We’d love to hear your ideas!

If you want to get in touch, or send ideas for features on this page, please email us here