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Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Resell, Rent!

What goes around comes around… or so they say and that’s good news for the planet. More and more of us are finding ways to consume less, hang on to stuff we use, pass on what we don’t use, or repair things we’ve worn out. These principles have been 'a thing' in interior design for decades, but fashion appears to have caught on.

One new voice in circular fashion is High Street mogul Selfridges. ‘Changing the Way We Shop’ is the tag line of their new operation, known as #ProjectEarth, and it's full of sustainable initiatives. Their aim is to encourage customers to buy preloved, rent and repair. These concepts may not be new, but Selfridges have put their reputation and weight behind normalising them. Good for them! Plus it's great to see interest in sustainable and responsible living picking up momentum.

One of the collaborations Selfridges has made is with the charity Oxfam and there is currently an Oxfam pop-up in-store. This is a great way for them to celebrate Oxfam’s own campaign #SecondHandSeptember. Oxfam have been running this campaign for the past 30 days in the hope it will encourage people to stop buying new clothes and curb our fast fashion habit.

So, what’s the core of the sustainable fashion revolution?

Reduce

We could all take a leaf out of Gok Wan’s play book and take more care when it comes to what we buy. His capsule wardrobe concept is not new, but it does offer a simple solution to our over consuming world.

Hey, it’s also good to buy sustainable and ethical fashion where possible. But we understand the price tag needs to fit the budget. Choosing a smaller, more considered wardrobe means you’re likely to buy less and stay stylish for longer. A sentiment also held by another fashion legend.

“Buy less, choose well, make it last” Vivienne Westwood.

Repair

When it comes to “making it last”, well we Brits have too long embraced disposable culture. It’s high bloody time we realised what we can do with a good old needle and thread. Operations worth a mention are Clothes Doctor and the Handbag clinic.

Reuse, Resell and Sharing

Reuse, reselling and sharing are at the core of winning circular strategies with big and small sellers. These include Beyond Retro, Loop Generation and Fusspotts. But let’s not forget all the Depop and Ebay sellers for our preloved clothing.

Some makers and designers do a great job upcycling secondhand fashion. Here, the idea is simple. Take something worn, add some ‘sparkle’ and make something new, but better. Check out Garbags, makers of items such as durable handbags from coffee packages. Or the inspiring quotes embroidered onto preloved t-shirts and jackets from newbies Enough Already. They actually started out on Etsy, a platform on which much of the ethical fashion frontline sell their handmade designs.

A Hire Purpose

Rental too, is a great idea, as some garments are works of art. Whilst great to own… only those with the deepest wardrobes and coldest hearts can escape the feeling of guilt. That of owning something they will likely never wear again. Rental then is the obvious answer. So it would be rude not to mention the true pioneers of this fashion trend, companies like Rent the Runway, founded back in 2009.

Try to change the status quo, especially when it is so broken, is something we all need to be doing. It doesn’t matter if your approach is buying well and buying less. It may be thrifting for overlooked gems or cashing in on preloved staples. Even breathing new life into old gold or renting something killer… taking action is most definitely the point.

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