Can fashion and sustainability ever co-exist harmoniously? That seems to be the question of the moment.
This may come as a surprise to the many oblivious consumers but fashion is the second most polluting industry, right after mining and oil. Contrary to popular notions, this can, in fact, be achieved on multiple levels right from consumer behaviour to retailer ethics, and production policies. On your part, it’s time to redefine the way you express yourself via fashion and this involves consciously practicing the three R’s with your wardrobe choices:
Unfortunately, we are part of the ‘wear it once’ culture which has made our consumption habits skyrocket. The average party top is worn only 1.7 times before being discarded. The easiest (well technically!) step is to adopt a less is more perspective.
Our appetite for fashion needs to reprogram itself from just a pass time hobby to an actual functional necessity. Do you really need another crop top? Instead of buying 10 low-quality tops at dirt cheap prices, how about investing in 1 good quality top that will last several months. The takeaway: Invest in quality over quantity!
So, what to do when you are bored with the clothes in your wardrobe? Instead of indulging in yet another shopping spree, why not get creative? Pull out your essentials and try mixing and matching combinations you haven’t tried before. You could also have a clothes swapping arrangement with your friends, cousins, or siblings, or maybe even pick stuff from your mom’s closet. Also, if you must shop, head to the local thrift store, scour through second-hand buys, or load up on all things vintage to reuse instead of abuse with your fashion choices.
We are a generation that strongly believes in the motto “if it’s broken, replace it”—be it relationships, jobs, emotions, or what have you. There is no surprise that we use the same approach when it comes to our wardrobes. One hole, a little tear, and the first thing we do is discard. We need to re-imagine our relationship with our clothing. A skirt that doesn’t fit anymore can be turned into a bag, and old t-shirt into a crop top, skinny jeans into shirts… there is a dime a dozen ways to repair and reuse. Ultimately, a sustainable wardrobe is one that puts garments to good use and then re-imagines a new use to prolong their working life.