Fashion

Alternatives for a cheaper and more sustainable wardrobe

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Klara talks us through some of the best ways we can look good and feel good by making our style more sustainable .

‘Tis the season of dressing up, dressing warm, and celebrating. We can often spend our evenings before an occasion going through our wardrobe and testing multiple outfits but still end up insisting that , ‘I don’t have any clothes!’ or texting our friends ‘hey got nothing to wear tonight, can I borrow something of yours?’

The considerable consumerism of the winter period with its festivity alongside January sales results in us investing in unnecessary amounts of coats, jumpers and comfy essentials for both ourselves and as presents.

“The words ‘cheaper’ and ‘sustainable’ sometimes seem to cloud the ethical issues around the item.”

Every student is victim to an ASOS haul when their student loan drops. Often, it’s easy to forget that the next-day delivery deal for that £4 dress you see reduced online, has its own carbon footprint.

The words ‘cheaper’ and ‘sustainable’ sometimes seem to cloud the ethical issues around the item. Like, is someone getting paid a fair wage? Where is it getting made and sent from? Is it still fashionable?

Trends nowadays change far quicker than the traditional Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer predictions, through the help of social medias such as YouTube and Instagram.

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BBC Three’s current fly-on-the-wall documentary Breaking Fashion explores Manchester-based fast fashion company, In The Style, and the rate at which collections are thought up, designed, sent off for manufacturing and produced for the masses.

“The rise of fast fashion and the ease of which websites such as Pretty Little Thing and Missguided are able to turn around products for the masses means we are all guilty of browsing these websites.”

A recent statistic by the Guardian showed that the UK buys “more clothes per person than any other country in Europe – five times what we bought in the 1980s, which creates 1.3m tonnes of waste each year, some 350,000 tonnes of which is dumped in landfill or incinerated.”

The rise of fast fashion and the ease of which websites such as Pretty Little Thing and Missguided are able to turn around products for the masses means we are all guilty of browsing these websites. 

But it is not all bad news. The second-hand clothing industry has grown through the likes of Depop, Vinted and ASOS Marketplace. Charity shops have always been a popular choice for people hunting for a bargain whilst also donating money to a good cause.

Not to be left behind, the high street giants such as Zara and H&M are making efforts to change this. Zara, owned by the company Inditex, is pledging to not send anything to waste by 2025, and H&M has their popular Conscious Edit.

“Rather than buying whole new outfits for night outs, find pieces you can wear often but make them look different with different accessories”

In their sustainability report from 2018, H&M stated that 95% of the cotton used is recycled or from other sustainable sources, and that they aim to achieve a carbon-positive value chain by 2040. Also, by 2020, they aim to have eliminated the use of hazardous chemicals from any procedure. 

Overall, we are making progress.

I have also collected some tips for being thrifty in Nottingham:

  • Download Good On You on your phones, to check what impact your favourite brands are having
  • Explore Lace Market for vintage shops such as We Are Cow and Braderie
  • Look at the charity shops in and around the town centre, such as White Rose NG7
  • Re-wear outfits and share with your friends
  • Rather than buying whole new outfits for night outs, find pieces you can wear often but make them look different with different accessories
  • Donate clothes to clothes bins
  • Take a bag of old clothes to H&M in return for a £5 voucher!
  • Connect with your favourite influencers to encourage them to have more awareness of the brands that they may be promoting

 

Klara Hansen 

Featured Image courtesy of Daniel Lobo via Flickr

Article Images courtesy of missguided asos inthestyle depop cownottingham via Instagram

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