I recently attended the book launch of 'How to break up with fast fashion' by Lauren Bravo. In her book, Lauren describes how she didn't buy any new clothes for an entire year to take a break from the environmentally damaging fast fashion industry. A fashion detox, so to speak.
Why you should consider a fashion detox
THE BIG ONE: to help tackle clothing waste. The global fashion industry has a huge problem with pollution, waste and human rights abuses. Did you know 300,000 tonnes of clothes goes to landfill in the UK yearly? That some fast fashion brands create 52 collections a year? It can take as little as 10 days from the drawing board to the shop floor in some cases.
Think about it… Over the years, the cost of living has steadily increased, but the price point of your typical high street clothing items remain unchanged. It’s obvious that this must be at the cost of something.
As a consumer you have the power to put pressure on fashion brands to make a change. If you are part of the 48% of UK adults that do know fast fashion is bad for the planet (yes, an astonishing 52% don't...) and want to do your bit, a fashion detox will have you challenge and evaluate your shopping behavior.
To save money. An obvious one; you'll spend less money on new clothes.To earn money. By clearing your wardrobe you'll be faced with stuff you haven't worn for years. Be ruthless and sell anything you haven't worn in a year (excluding any designer items you've invested in and want to keep, of course).
To increase wardrobe creativity. Another thing you'll realise when clearing your wardrobe is how much clothes you actually have, and how many pieces you haven't worn for ages that you still really like. Try new combinations and get creative.
8 ways to fashion detox
Whether you want to hold off shopping entirely for a short period of time, or just be more conscious in your consumerism, here are some of my top fashion detox tips.
- Wardrobe cleanse. Get all your clothes and shoes out of your closet and confront yourself with the sheer volume. Whether it's a case of repeat mistake-buying, impulse shopping, stained, ripped or ill-fitting clothes, decluttering is a must. Have three piles; keep, sell, bin. Take a closer look at what's in the bin pile; are many of the items in a particular fabric? Styles you don't feel comfortable in? Or are they all "going out out" dresses that you haven't touched in years? Make a mental note for future purchases.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists that keep reminding you of the latest drops and trends - ultimately things you don't necessarily need, but might end up wanting.
- Review your social media feeds. Are you following influencers that *buys* (i.e. are gifted) a new Bottega Veneta each month? You choose what type of content you want to expose yourself to, just as you can choose to do something productive on your commute to work, rather than scrolling through Instagram.
- One in one out. If your wardrobe is overfilling and you own more clothes, shoes and bags than you can possibly wear, this is a great philosophy to embrace.
- Become a charity magpie. If you aren't ready to stop buying new clothes entirely for a period of time you can decide to only buy second hand items. Oxfam recently launched 'Second Hand September' to encourage people to do exactly this.
- Borrow and lend. Why not buy a designer item and share it with a friend.
- Rent. Special occasions - specifically wedding outfits - tend to have a higher price tag, but also a shorter lifespan. Frontrow is one of many designer rental services online.
- Buy less, choose well. Think “will I wear this 30 times” before making a new purchase.
Want to be more conscious about the clothes you are wearing? Good On You is a brand directory with both high street and luxury labels that rates how ethical and sustainable a company is. It was created because 'there are some skeletons in the closet that can’t be hidden'.
We have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.Emma Watson – Good On You Supporter