As a fashion lover looking forward to wearing a last season model, being able to score a staple from a cult designer or simply catching a good bargain here and there are little pleasures that make life more enjoyable – am I right ladies? Yet, in times where the sustainable talk is a waking call, fashion is perhaps one of the first scenes to consider.
Ever since I created my blog, (formerly known as Trends Vip) and moved on to styling and digital content, I’ve been working closely with fashion brands, so it would sound hypocritical if all of the sudden I start preaching about a frugal lifestyle – nothing against it of course, but that’s just not me, at least not anytime soon; however with the growing awareness about sustainability I’ve wondered myself – not only from an environmental perspective but a financial one, are our fashion affairs, sustainable…..?
While I don’t want to think about fashion as something I have to suppress from my life, I do admit our digital environments are undoubtedly creating a vicious circle as to how we perceive, consume and dispose fashion – In the era of digital immediacy things get old before they’re even out there. With that said, it’s become a common rule not wanting to wear something twice if it is Instagram history, or moving too soon onto the next thing without making the most of what we just bought; worst yet we end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. So how can we stop or lessen this cycle?
Close friends and even some of you via social media have asked me often, – What do you do with so many clothes? Imagine asking to a dressmaker ” what do you do with all these fabrics?” or to a carpenter “what do you do with all your tools”? well, we just work with them. But honest truth, some of the stuff you’ve seen me wearing are no longer part of my closet; sure I have beloved pieces I keep for years but if you’ve followed me on Insta, you probably noticed a wardrobe sale not long ago.
We don’t have to sacrifice our lifestyle, but by making a few adjustments and embracing certain habits we can make a difference. Here are a few things I’ve put into practice for a more sustainable and truly fashion conscious way of life.
You can flaunt high end fashion without the guilt. If you are in need of a gown, or a runway hit from local designers for that special event, there is a quick fix thanks to designer hire stores; basically no need to spend hundreds of dollars for a model you’ll most likely wear once. Just browse, select, wear and return.
The down side – Don’t get hooked, many hires in a row can be the equivalent of a quality buy you could keep for yourself. Don’t get tricked into thinking you’re paying way less. In the Aussie fashion context you are still paying an average of $100 to $150 per dress hire (you can still find good ones from $60 tho); by the time you hire three or four times in a row, it would be great to buy a fine and smart suit you can own to wear from work to gala; but overall, from time to time hiring doesn’t hurt.
Zimmermann dress rented from Myrunway.com
2. Sell it.
Let’s be clear about one thing – There are clothes that are timeless and there are others which simply get old once worn. As everything in life has its purpose, so do clothes, and even though we hate to admit it, some clothes do have an expiry date – at least in our wardrobe; whether because it’s a conspicuous dress or something you bought for a specific event with no hopes of wearing it again any time soon, sell it – better money in your pocket than hanging in your closet. That said, once a garment serves its purpose, let it be loved by someone else.
Where to sell it?
For garments and accessories you’ll sell for cheap, try macro places like Ebay, but if you have a considerable friend or follower network try social media groups. For your designer and high end items Ebay is also a good choice but people would be keen to pay more at Consignment stores for Pre loved fashion such like Vestiarie Collective or The Real Real.
This was an Alice McCall dress I wore twice for events and styled for photo purposes, being a summer classic it was a bit hard to say good bye, but it felt good to still get half its price back by selling it on Ebay.
3. Swap it!
Just as someone’s rubbish is someone else’s treasure, some girl’s dated garments can be another girl’s latest staple. Arrange a wardrobe exchange party with friends or fellow instagrammers in your town. Beforehand post a group on facebook with a tease of what everyone will take. So everyone knows what they can expect.
Tip – Be considered, don’t offer something you’d throw in the bin, rather have items available in a decent condition.
Not a bad combo – pants and top scored at a fashion swap last year, in case you doubt I do this Theresa Winters from The Plus Ones Sydney can totally confirm, as she hosted the event.
4. Treat yourself, buy smart
Well, this is about sustainable practices – truth be told we shouldn’t buy more stuff, but we know that won’t happen even if we want to. Even if we do the commitment to be moderated with our spending, it is always valid to spare room and budget for a quality buy – like a fancy staple you can wear for years or like an investment bag you can always resell for a really good price – no remorse at all!
Feel less guilty catching items from A-list designers or brands at surprisingly reduced prices at their sample and change of season sales – here is a little secret…
For a REALLY good catch, keep an eye on sites like Net-a-porter or Farfetch during their sale time, seriously you can find coveted designer bags and shoes down to 70% 50%, or 40% – not bad at all considering their regular retail price. Like these Aquazzurra pair I scored two years ago saving 70% via Net-a-porter.
5. Alter and reinvent
Love it too much to let it go, but it is too fancy or too dressy to make the most of it? Try altering it. Believe me, I do this a lot, not all my style files go to my socials to prove it but if you wonder what happens eventually to my maxis, well, I take them to the alterations shop and turn it into a more everyday garment by cutting its length. My Jeans into shorts, and longs sleeves dresses into 3/4 sleeves etc. A simple detail can make a huge difference and extend the life and use of your beloved pieces!
Are you putting in practice any sustainable practices or smart habits when it comes to fashion? Let me hear your thoughts !
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