Understanding sustainable fashion

In the January 2020 edition of Vogue UK, there is a lot about the sustainability of the fashion industry and a whole 15 page article about recycling and upcycling our clothes. This got me thinking about my wardrobe and the clothes I bring out year in and year out, carefully folding them away in plastic crates at the end of one season and bringing them out again for the next. I have skirts, jumpers, shirts, trousers and tops that I have had for years. Items that I love and nearly worn to death, some that I hope to be slim enough to wear by the time the next season comes around (never a good thing!) and a few that have been added that season. I even have a few items that were in my mother’s trousseau from the early 60’s and although I don’t wear them every year, it is amazing how many times they come back into fashion.

Of course most of us don’t have the space to keep all the clothes we have owned over the decades, in the hopes that they will come back into fashion, but if we keep our main items as classical as possible, in the tones of colours we know suit us and then buy minimal items in the current trends – a handbag, scarf or maybe one or two frivolous pieces – we will then not need to keep replacing our wardrobe each season (which, with the speed fashion has been changing over the last few years could mean 4 or 5 times a year!) and can bring out clothes knowing they will still look “on trend” with a tweak or two.

As I have said on many occasions, the French and the Italians take it as a compliment if someone remarks that they have seen an outfit on them before, where we Brits are wired into thinking that we need a new outfit for any new occasion. Perhaps it is time we re-wired ourselves to shop less, but shop more cleverly. The planet and our wallets will thank us!

Sustainable shopping
Recycling is the new trent

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