Until the pandemic, fast fashion had become the social norm for most of us. With cheaply made clothes being so widely available and high street trends changing so rapidly, it is no surprise that many wore them a handful of times before throwing them away.
On average, clothing and textiles will make up roughly 2 per cent of your annual footprint. However, the footprint of fast fashion buyers is thought to be five or ten times that. The good news is that we can still get our shopping fix and look fabulous without destroying the planet. Here is some ideas to slower living
Right in our little village we have Edit Secondhand. The best thing about shopping second hand is that you are not directly supporting things like animal cruelty, child labour and you are saving beautiful garments from going to landfill. Another practical aspect with this store is that it specialises in quality, luxury brands so the items should all be built to last: the definition of sustainable!
If the items are out of your price range, there are plenty of great online second-hand shops including Brighton based Beyond Retro and Oxfam.
REPAIR AND REWEAR
If your clothes need repair, don’t throw them away. You have options. There are quite a few repair cafes not too far from Cuckfield. For example, Horsham Repair Café offers a free monthly repair service and – with the help of their textile volunteers – you can even learn how to do some creative upcycling for yourself. Even closer we have Hassocks Repair Café every fourth Saturday of the month, and one in Burgess Hill due to open once restrictions allow.
Although unlikely you will see any clothes swap events in the flesh until the coronavirus pandemic is over there are new digital options available. Swopped.co.uk offers a point system whereby you can gain points for items you send in and spend them
BUY ETHICALLY SOURCED
New online shop Cuckfield-based Blossom & Roar focuses on offering brands that are sustainable and practice ethical retail. These are beautiful designs from small and independent companies. Your wallet will a lot lighter after shopping here but as fashion queen, Vivienne Westwood, famously said, “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”
GET SOME ADVICE
If you are planning on a spring clean and a complete wardrobe overhaul, there is a local service called Finely Tuned Wardrobe that offers styling advice and a reselling service with sustainability in mind. For the latest advice and news on ethical fashion, it is always worth checking out Ethical Consumer. This magazine covers more detailed insights broad range of topics from the slow movement to how current consumer trends affect our planet.
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These are just some ideas to get started with slower movement in fashion. There are too many to mention in one post just as there are too many shops and organisations moving away from fast fashion. Perhaps the above suggestions seem a bit overwhelming but even if you just made one change, you would be reducing waste in landfill and subsequently carbon emissions.
If sustainable fashion is something you are passionate about, we would love to hear from you or do feel free to comment below.
By Vicky Koch