Here Are The 5 Habits To Adopt In Order To Enjoy Shopping And Still Be More Sustainable In 2021

Pamela G. Knowles

Whether renting, shopping the sales or falling back in love with something you already own, there’s no better time to rethink your wardrobe habits than right now.

1. Embrace Second Hand

With the spotlight firmly on sustainability and fashion’s conveyer belt of trends looking to the past for inspiration, must-haves doesn’t have to mean brand new. It’s time to forget what you thought about second hand clothes. Yes, at times it is a labour of love, but the thrill is absolutely in the hunt. Believe me, since bagging a vintage Saint Laurent double-breasted blazer for £40 last week, I am now checking the designer section of Oxfam’s new-in range as often as possible.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of our wardrobes have gone unloved for the past year. Stuffy work suiting has been cast aside for smart-casual combinations suitable for Zoom calls. And as well as purchasing pre-loved items, there are plenty of platforms available to help you sell anything you no longer want. Celebrities from Lily Allen to Emily Ratajkowski are doing it right now on Depop, while Vestiaire Collective is a treasure trove of designer wares.

Fanny Moizant, one of Vestiaire’s co-founders has a some tips and tricks to help you sell your own wardrobe: ‘I encourage people to be as active as possible and start building up their own community on the platform, it will help get more eyes onto your items whether it’s regularly updating your listings, liking and reacting quickly to a buyer enquiry. Beautiful presentation and clear images also help and follow the pricing algorithm’s guidance to encourage a quick sale. The easiest first step is to take a quick look at similar pieces that have sold on the site and see what price bracket they have gone for to give you an idea.’

2. Rent Until Your Heart (Or Wardrobe) Is Content

2020 saw the rise of rental sites, with a 200% increase in clothes rentals thanks to platforms like Rotaro, ByRotation and MyWardrobe HQ. Count this as the easiest way for a wardrobe refresh without contributing to fashion’s terrible impact on the planet. Right now, you could just rent something to lift your spirits but, when we’re out of lockdown, you can borrow everything from a brand new holiday wardrobe to your wedding dress.

3. Shop From Small And Independent Brands

The pandemic has been difficult for all brands, big or small. We’ve seen a real emphasis on shopping locally and buying from independent labels where possible. One of the benefits of this is being able to ask questions about where your clothes are coming from, how they’re made and what cost they’re having on the environment – something you may not be able to ask the retail juggernauts. Looking to new labels or supporting small independent brands couldn’t be easier. Click here for a handful of brilliant independent brands to get on your radar now.

4. Look to Sustainable labels

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword – it’s at the core of some of the coolest brands to buy into. Conscious consumption is how we can all singularly play our part in looking after the planet, after all. Unsure of where to start? Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best sustainable brands in the business.

5. Take Care Of And Treasure What You Already Own

Rewearing your own wardrobe may sound obvious but, on average, women wear only 20% of their clothes, leaving 80% of unloved items waiting to be worn. Take a moment to assess why you’re no longer wearing it – it could be because its dry clean only or you don’t like the neckline. As mentioned, you could always list these pieces on resale sites to free up some space and earn some extra cash.

But, chances are there are pieces that just need a little love, whether that means mending, dry-cleaning or simply storing in a different way.

Frej Lewenhaupt, co-founder of STEAMERY’s shares her top tips on taking care of your garments: ‘Steaming doesn’t only make your clothes wrinkle-free, the hot steam also kills bacteria. It’s also very gentle on your clothes. Stains should be treated as soon as they appear to get the best result and if you de-bobble, lint will actually appear less often. Preferably, store clothes in vacuum bags (always wash them before storing). When it comes to knits, fold instead of hanging, making the knits keep their shape. Many garments having the “dry clean only” symbol are perfectly fine to hand wash. Other than that, steaming is a great way to reduce washing and to freshen up your clothes.’

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Paloma Wool, Cord trousers, £119

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Paloma Wool, Gradient dyed corduroy jacket, £139

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House of Sunny, Shirt dress, WAS £145, NOW £72.50

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Maium, original raincoat, £135

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Re/Done, 90s Sustainable Skate Shoe, £380

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HERD, 'The Breton 100' Medium, £13.00

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Oliver Co., compact wallet, £65

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Atelier Store, Knight drape dress, £525

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Cinta The Label, Rosie cardigan, £95

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Olive and Frank, tshirt, £35

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