Sustainability…. if you haven’t heard the word you must have just arrived in a time machine.
From the vessel we sip coffee from to how we pack our food shopping, sustainability is (or it blooming well should be) at the forefront of our minds. So with this in mind, I wonder why this approach has yet to infiltrate the mainstream of fashion? Are the clothes on your back something you consider when trying to be conscious of sustainability? Admit it, like me, you’ve bought an item… a shirt, a dress whatever it may be and worn it once and never again, only for it to end up moth ridden at the back of the wardrobe. deeming it unusable and inevitably binned.
In 2018 the Guardian outlined that we ‘consumers sent 300,000 tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill’. Now that’s insane. especially when I think about the fact a lot of clothing these days derives from plastic fibres making it even harder to decompose! In fact, on that note, Greenpeace stated ‘polyester takes more than 200 years to decompose’. For me personally that news is enough to make me question my purchasing habits, but if it’s not getting you diving into your wardrobe to reuse what you have, then why not think about second-hand shopping?
1. It’s cheap as chips
‘Deadman’s shoes’ my partners family joke when he wears his second hand Doc Martens. But as they’re in tip top condition and cost £20, we smile, having saved at least £70.
2. No twinning here
You won’t (or it would be extremely unlikely) turn up to an event, birthday party, meal out etc. wearing the same outfit as someone else.
3. Your Style Evolution
The highstreet evokes a sense of factory style, forever churning out identity cuts, patterns and styles that society deem to be the ‘it item’ or ‘theme’ of the season. Choose to buck the trend and find your own voice through what you wear by styling vintage with new or lesser-known brands with your jeans.
4. They don’t make ‘em like they used to
I am sure we can all agree fast fashion has taken the world by storm. As is often the case – the faster the fashion the lower the quality. You don’t necessarily need to buy outrageous clothes, but instead, picking up a few quality pieces such as a trench coat or leather bag not only means being sustainable but they will far outlast those on the current market.
In need of inspiration:
If the thought of second-hand shopping is intimidating then fear not there is an abundance of accessible sources – such as man repellers best vintage fashion shopping section, it might be American but you get the gist of what you can source. Follow charity shops on social media, Oxfam is a personal favourite and their annual campaign of second-hand September is running right now. Their Instagram page is filled with so much user-generated content from people shopping stores nationwide and super styling them, upcycling or pairing with items already in their wardrobe. Finally, I recently came across this Instagram account and fell in love. Who would have thought a Taiwanese couple in their 80s could become my ultimate style icons? But here we are, check out their story
Making the most of your purchases:
Whatever you save by buying second hand invest in having the items tailored to you. That stunning ivory suit might be three sizes too big but at £20 it’s a snatch to grab it and head straight to the nearest tailor. You may end up paying more than the item itself to have it fitted to your form but it’s not bespoke and STILL cheaper than low quality high street items!
If you want to try your hand at being that little more sustainable by shopping second hand then there are so many ways, try:
- Facebook market place
- Charity shops
If I’m still yet to convince you about buying second hand then how about renting some fancy pants designer dresses for your next big occasion. Not only will it make you belle of the ball but it costs so little that you get way more bang for your buck:
Follow the big dogs:
It’s not just people like me who are on this train of thinking, these values are penetrating all the way up to the top designers and forward thinkers in the fashion world. For instance, Ganni teamed up with Levi for Copenhagen Fashion Week this month curating a new rental model for their collaborative collection made from recycled Levi jeans in Ganni style. The items even contain microchips so you can track the journey and where it’s been, as well as unlocking styling advice.
The idea of sustainability in fashion is one which I don’t believe is going to go away, regardless of what is going on in the world, it’s one of the key players in how we treat the earth. I’m not asking you to stop shopping the highstreet altogether but even if this just makes you stop and question your next purchase, I feel I’ve done something right!