As a lover of travel and having moved house this year I’ve really seen the benefits of trying to own less ‘stuff’.
As we move into a time of change within the fashion industry and the focus shifts towards minimising waste as much as possible, I’d like to share what I have learned. I hope it helps to inspire your future purchases and open up a discussion!
In western society, we tend to own a lot of stuff. I know I still do – even after having recently reduced what I own. As prices of clothing and commodities have come down, the number of items we share our home with has risen. We own far more ‘stuff’ than any the previous generation.
This past month I was shocked to read about Missguided’s £1 bikini. Although the clothing retailer reassured us all that this was a publicity stunt and that they absorbed the real cost, have we reached a point where fabric and the people who create it have become so low in value that and item of clothing now costs less than a cup of coffee?
Personally, I try my best to look after my clothers – whether I bought them myself or received them as gifts. Whether it’s a pair of jeans, a dress or a scarf, at the very least I need them to continue to be wearable.
However clothes are much more than purely functional. Lots of us also form a nostalgic or sentimental attachment to our favourite clothes, which means I care about them even more. Single items of clothing can remind us of a place, person or event and we want to be able to hold on to that, while still keeping the item ready to wear.
We are now at a point in time where we know that fashion is the second biggest polluter after the oil industry. Every week 11 million items of clothes end up in landfill. And why? So we can fill our houses with more stuff that we sometimes barely wear? (I am guilty as charged here)
I get it, the joy of opening something new, unwrapping the delivery, trying it on and, if we love it, wearing it. But is there an alternative that not only helps the environment, our own bank balance and our space?
As customers you are already telling companies, like my own, what you want from clothing retailers. Keeping my ears and eyes open this is what I see:
Listening to Radio Scotland @Kaye Adams section on wardrobing this week (buying it, wearing it and returning it for a refund for those who haven’t heard of it) – we want variety and choice of garments.
‘Second hand September’ from @oxfam gives an example of the rise in customer interest into buying fewer clothes that last longer. We also know that society as a whole wants to support the environment by being involved in this new movement.
Every day on social media and eBay I see individuals selling and passing on what they no longer want or wear – something that takes a bit of work and coordination from both the buyer and seller.
So, if I’m right, we want choice, at a moderate cost and we want clothing that has a longer life. We’re also happy to pass on clothes and to wear items that aren’t completely new.
So, to test this theory, I’d like to offer some solutions and I’d love to receive your input. We’re kicking this off this October with a series of blog posts which offer ideas, thoughts and an opportunity to get involved.
Look out for:
- The capsule wardrobe – The basics, how to wear them, travel light and look great.
- The Marie Kondo solution and how it works for your wardrobe by developing a ‘minimal over maximum’ mindset.
- The borrow back method – create interest with colour, pattern and texture to your wardrobe without the commitment spending money.