I think it is safe to say that we have all been in a situation where ‘retail therapy’ seems to be the only solution. Succumbing to sales and buying new clothes definitely makes you feel better…..but only for the short-term. It’s time to remove our rose-tinted lenses and be more sustainable.
‘Outfit repeating’. It’s a phrase we have all heard and probably all used, but what is so bad about it? I’ve certainly bought dresses for events in fear that people would realise if I re-wore an outfit. But, do people actually care? The simple answer is no. A recent study found that ‘33% of women – regardless of age – consider an outfit to be “old” after wearing it fewer than three times.’ This demand for new outfits for every occasion keeps fast fashion companies going. But, we must think about the bigger picture when shopping. Instead of adding to the stigma of the dreaded ‘outfit repeating,’ we should simply re-wear clothes, but style them differently. It is a simple change and does not feed into the fast fashion industry which ultimately destroys our environment.
Fashion trends are fast changing and they have been since the 19th-century. But with a better understanding of its effect on the environment, the industry needs to rethink trends. Monthly magazines show new and upcoming trends, but as quickly as trends come, they go. In my opinion, fashion is about expressing yourself as an individual, and you don’t have to keep up with these trends in order to achieve that. Express yourself with the clothes you have and be innovative. Upcycle your old clothes…there are plenty of YouTube channels that show you how to create ‘trendy’ pieces from the clothes you already own. I think that showing off clothes you have upcycled yourself is way cooler than constantly buying clothes to keep up with 5-minute trends.
Re-styling and upcycling are a couple of ways you can help be more sustainable. After accumulating a wardrobe that is way too big for one person, I had a clear out. I donated the clothes I no longer wear to charity shops and vintage stores as well as clothes donation boxes. Having a clear out doesn’t only make your space tidier, it also helps relieve stress and take some weight off. Push past the nostalgia and declutter your wardrobe and your mind!
Charity and vintage stores are becoming more mainstream and you can find some gems in there that people will definitely be jealous of. The Charity Retail Association has written 10 reasons why charity retail is the way forward. Not only does it promote re-use and recycling, but it also reduces landfill and in turn reduces CO2, making it environmentally friendly. Sustainable and cheap, what more could you want?
I’ve taken some steps to be more sustainable, but I still fall victim to sales. It’s a small step but if we all try to be more sustainable, we can make a bigger change. I’m hopeful for the industry as it looks like more steps are being taken to make fashion less ‘eco-unfriendly.’