Paulo Nutini wasn't lying when he said that he put his new shoes on and suddenly everything felt right, there is something about new clothes that makes us feel good. With the rise of cheap brands and next day delivery, it's now easier than ever to get this feeling. Fast fashion has jumped in and stolen many hearts away from high street shops that just can't match their prices. So, are these brands sent down from the heavens to thicken our pockets and fill our wardrobes or are they the devil leading us to our inevitable demise? (yeah it's that dramatic) Have a read of this post to find out how to look good without selling your soul.
The idea of fast fashion seems good from the outside, thousands of pages of clothes at your disposal that you can have the next day. With the pressures we face to always be on trend and wear something new it's hard to resist, especially with the price tag! Unfortunately, we all know that 'new lines added' every week is having a cost on our environment. The push to constantly keep up with the newest trends and provide people with the affordable 'wear it once' attitude has resulted in bad quality clothing and unsustainable productions methods. Whether it is due to them (very quickly) falling apart or not being fashionable anymore, it is estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.
Luckily for you, you don't have to give in to look good and in reality you don't have to spend a fortune either. There a lot of brands out there that are kind to the earth but very very mean to your bank balance. I have said it before and I'll say it again, nothing is truly sustainable if not everyone can afford it but don't be put off, there are plenty of affordable sustainable brands as well other options out there!
Charity shops are a great way to clear out and spice up your wardrobe in an ethical way. I think a lot of people associate charity shop clothes as being really old fashioned but you can find some gems. Alike other shops, you won't like everything and will have to look around to find your style but it will be worth it. I have found loads of funky jackets, tops and jumpers in stores near me with tiny tags. Not only are you saving the planet but donating to charities too! So, next time you see a charity shop, instead of walking idly by,have a look in and see what you find!
We've all bought something, worn it once and then kinda lost the feel for it. Instead of throwing it into the unseen depths of your drawers. You can now have your own account free of charge on depop and start getting money for these items. Someone out there will be searching and can give it a new, loving home! It's also great for shopping on too, if things have gone out of stock or you need a new item on a budget you can search it up and see if people are selling it! They are always much cheaper and good quality and its easy to get in touch with the seller and ask questions. The great thing about this is that it helps to tackle fast fashion, you can still buy from brands like PLT but now they are getting more than one use and saving you money. As long as you don't mind it been worn a few times, you are always a winner! If you haven't already downloaded it, what are you waiting for?
Clothes swaps are based upon the ethos that one mans trash is another mans treasure. They are events where you give in clothes you no longer want or need and then you take whatever other people gave in. Hand in 2 items and take to 2 items! Be ready as a crazy free for all may unfold as you fight over a jumper you defiantly spotted first. Without the hassle of delivery and selling, its a great way to transform your wardrobe in a matter of hours free of charge and of course it has little impact on the earth as well!
Have a serious case of clothes boredom? Instead of searching around the internet to find new ones, why not get creative with the ones you already have. Worn your favourite pair of jeans so much they look a little shabby; but you've shaped them to be so comfy that they may as well be joggers? Dye them black for a new lease of life. Boring t-shirts and jumpers not really showing off your unique style anymore? Get some sew on badges and spice them up! There is soooo much you can do, so if you are ever feeling creative, why not?
Here are just a few of many examples of sustainable fashion brands! There are so many out there but here's a quick insight:
Lucy and Yak
This company was born from selling vintage clothes out of their van called Yak as the founders travelled the world! After realising there talent and taking more people on board, they ended up in India making dungarees. They are now based in UK and India where their factory is 100% solar energy ran and everyone gets a fair wage. Their products are made from organic yarn and low impact dyes. Since, they have expanded and create many different items and I am in love with their fleeces. Find out more about their story and shop below:
Asos Market Place is a branch of Asos where you can buy from independant sellers and vintage boutiques all in one place. From designer brands to party wear to handmade jewellery its a great place to shop for unique clothes in loads of styles. It started up in 2010 with 20 sellers and now has over 800 from all around the globe. It promotes fashion recycling as well as the power of small scale and independant new labels. Check it out at:
New girl order
This funky and fresh brand has had me head of heals since of friend of mine showed it to me. The clothes are different and well made. They focus on girl power, so only stock women's clothing (sorry boys) thats all about expressing yourself fearlessly through fashion. They don't have a lot of lines which helps them differ from other brands which sell thousands of different products. They offer a great organic cotton t-shirt range which helps to promote sustainability.
I have followed Ten Tree on Instagram for a while now and to be honest I had no idea they even did a clothing line until recently. They offer men and women's lines and every time you buy an item they plant ten trees... I mean how cute is that. They pride themselves on finding responsibly sourced materials and respectful working environments. They have planet over 40 million trees so far! Have a look with the link below:
Big Wild Thought
Big wild thought is based in Sheffield and their products are designed and made there. They love animals so all the products have one sewed on and they are adorable. To make things better, every purchase sends 10% to the charity of the animal you choose to help conservation efforts. Even there packaging is sustainable; it's made from recycled cardboard and acid free tissue paper. So next time you want a new jumper to cuddle up in, I recommend out checking them out!
Renting in fashion is becoming increasingly popular and I am here for it. For all the men out there, this probably isn't anything new as renting suits has been popular for a while, but now renting women's wear is on the rise as well. I saw it for the first time on Hire Street which is a website that rents out fancy designer evening wear for a fraction of the price. If you are going somewhere fancy, like a ball or prom, you tend to buy a new dress for the occasion and you will probably never wear it again. Next time, have a look on hire street and websites like it and see if there is anything you fancy, you'll probably be wearing the nicest and most expensive dress or power suit in there and no one has to know you are sending it back in a few days. Its pretty flexible too, you choose how long you rent it for and the cost changes with it. This is a great way to reduce the impact that we have on the earth. Sharing is caring! Take a look:
Finally, one of the best things you can to reduce fast fashion is be mindful and try to switch up your spending habits. For example, if you are choosing between a pair of trousers and a dress you love for a night out, maybe opt for the trousers. You will be able to wear them a thousand more times, switching up your top, shoes and accessories making them look brand new, whereas with a dress this is harder. Look for good quality items that you can trust to last a long time by picking the right brands and looking at products reviews, and if you can't post reviews, there is probably a reason...!
Don't worry, I'm not proposing you never buy anything again it's all about getting the right balance. Whether you borrow from friends or start getting creative every little helps! You will look good whatever you wear as long as you wear it with confidence!
As always, thanks for reading!