(Aurel H Paris)
We all know that fast fashion is a big issue currently faced by the clothing industry. We live in a ‘see now, buy now’ culture, where instant gratification fuels and motivates the masses. Within a few minutes you can see a dress worn by your favourite influencer, find it and buy it, without having to leave the confines of your bed, let alone house. The next day it will arrive, and you will wear it, love it, and flaunt it on social media, because if it isn’t on Instagram, did you even wear it? However after that night out, or dinner, or social event, the piece of clothing will make its way back into your wardrobe, never to be worn again. We live in an age where our cost-per-wear is astronomical, our wardrobes on a constant rotation as the latest styles catch our eye, and last week’s purchases become a distant memory. This frivolity, this decadence, this addiction to always wanting more is what is contributing to a climate crisis, so what can be done to stop it?
Stopping buying into fast fashion doesn’t mean that you have to stop buying clothes. Everyone’s styles, shapes and preferences change over time, so it is natural that you will want to refresh your wardrobe every once in a while, but this doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to buy new. There are many ways in which you can switch up your style without hitting the high street. Vintage clothes are excellent for those who love clothes with history, or want to invest in designer items, and will mean that your fashion fix is more circular. For more up-to-date styles and cheaper items, try the pre-loved fashion app, Depop. This again will mean that someone’s unwanted clothes are given a new lease of life in your wardrobe, which is better for the environment, and for your bank balance. Or if you love a real bargain, try your hand at label hunting in a good old charity shop. These time capsules are now not just reserved for the over 60’s, more and more millennials are becoming more and more conscious about how their waste is affecting the world around us, and are turning to charity shops to donate their unwanted belongings, instead of just sending them to landfill. To find more high-end or luxury items, hunt down charity shops in more affluent neighbourhoods – our favourites are Salvation Army in Mayfair (just round the corner from Vogue House), or British Red Cross in Chelsea.
If you don’t think you need any more additions to your wardrobe (I for one either need to stop buying clothes, or will need to buy a new wardrobe), think about re-wearing some of the items that are hiding at the depths of your bottom drawer. We forget about the clothes we already own, our minds are so focused on the next big thing, that we forget the items we loved a mere few months before. Creating a capsule wardrobe can help with this – every month picking out a few key pieces from your wardrobe that you can mix and max across a variety of looks, and then rotating this each month will mean that you can make the most out of your 20 different pairs of jeans.
Or if you are still after a new look, but don’t have the heart (or the budget) for more new clothes, then try revamping what you already have. Switch up your everyday jeans by cutting and fraying the hem, or adding some strategically placed rips for a new, and instantly edgier look. If your knitwear is looking far from fresh, run a blunt razor over the bobbles to bring it back to its former glory. Or, if you are more adventurous, or have some hidden arts and crafts skills that you want to uncover, try adding patches to denim jackets or jeans, or add a catchy slogan to your old t-shirts with some nifty embroidery.
If all else fails and you absolutely have to buy new, then keep an eye out for brands that are making an effort to manufacture their clothes in a more sustainable way. Some of our favourite brands include:
- Reformation : All clothes are made in their ethical and sustainable factory in LA, and are made from sustainable fabrics such as reused stock materials.
- Veja: The cool girls trainer, these shoes are currently at the forefront of the fashion world, and Veja claims ecological and fair trade conditions and to work with cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France.
- Re/Done: This LA based brand deconstructs vintage denim and uses the fabric to make new jeans in a plethora of different cuts and colours.
And if you need to clear out your wardrobe, don’t just reach for the black bags. Try selling your own unwanted pieces on eBay or Depop, and make someone else’s wardrobe dreams come true. Donate to charity, pass on to family and friends, or recycle your clothing memories, all of these things mean that you aren’t contributing to unnecessary textile waste, and will also mean that the time, money and effort that was put into making the garment is not wasted after just one singular wear.
As a company, we try our best step away from the practices of the fast fashion industry. We produce bags that can be reused over 5,000 times, that are made from sustainable materials in an ethical factory where workers are treated fairly and respected as the amazing people they really are. We want to create bags that are loved, worn and re-worn, and that people wear with pride, knowing that they have bought from a brand that is both ethically and sustainably minded.
We hope that this shows you that next day delivery £5 dresses are not the answer, and that for the sake of your bank balance, your wardrobe space, and the planet, you should consider some more sustainable options.
Daisy from Supreme Creations