A survey has uncovered that shoppers in the UK hoard over 10 billion pounds worth of unworn clothes. Women were found to be the largest culprits in stockpiling the unworn clothes, splurging the most money on garments (£1042 per year) whilst only wearing just over half of the clothes in their wardrobe. And the main reason for excessive shopping sprees is confidence, 79% of women said that they are happier when they are wearing something new.
While excessive shopping sprees have negative repercussions for the environment, the maintenance of clothes such as washing, drying and dry cleaning have similar consequences. It is estimated that the annual footprint of a households total newly bought clothing and clothing maintenance equates to the same amount of carbon emissions required to drive the average car 6,000 miles.
Fashion expert Cyrine Allani Joaristi who has worked for the likes of Christian Dior Couture, Jacques Fath and has founded clothing rental service Nothing-to-Wear gives her top tips on how we can shop sustainably while being ecologically conscious.
Avoid One Hit Wonders
It can be tempting when attending a special occasion to indulge on a new outfit, which is often only worn once for that special occasion and afterwards thrown to the back of the cupboard never to see daylight again.
Save money and preserve the environment by opting to use a clothing rental service such as Nothing-to-Wear allowing shoppers to rent designer handbags, dresses and accessories at a fraction of the cost of buying an outfit from new.
If you see a garment that catches your eye, the invitation to make a spontaneous purchase is almost obligatory. By giving yourself 48 hours to think about whether you really like the item will help you to decide if you really want/need the item. All too often we are blinded by clothing sales and discounts, persuaded to buy just because of the significant price reduction.
48 hours is the perfect time to deliberate the 30 Wears Test created by Livia Firth, founder of Eco Age, a company that certifies a clothing brands sustainability. If you cannot pledge to wear a pending item at least 30 times then you should leave the item hanging on the rack – Giving yourself time to think allows you to evaluate if the pending item is a valuable and durable edition to your wardrobe.
Steer to Sustainable
Steer your shopping trips towards brands that promote sustainability. Outlets such as H&M have an exclusive collection called Conscious, which boasts clothing materials such as ECONYL, 100% regenerated nylon and accessories made from discarded candle sticks. Or browse in vintage shops or online sites such as EBAY offering used clothing to reduce your fashion carbon footprint.
Stitch, Switch and Surrender
Avoid sending clothes to the landfill and increase the longevity of your wardrobe by mending broken zips, sewing on buttons or re- heeling shoes. Donate unwanted clothes to charity shops or host a clothes swap party, catch up with friends and shop for an entirely free new wardrobe by switching your unwanted clothing items with your friends.
Cyrine added that shoppers should: “Invest in a good quality timeless capsule wardrobe and rent the trendy and exceptional items. After all, we all suffer from the same Fashion paradigm: no matter the size of our closet, we always have Nothing-to-Wear.”