Article by Jacynth Bassett
We were all aghast last week when news broke that Burberry burns more than $37 million worth of their clothes. Their rationale is that it is industry-wide practice, and the likes of H&M have been picked up for similar behaviour.
Fashion waste is a huge problem, one that has been fuelled by the zeitgeist that is fast disposable fashion. The Fashion Industry is now responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, and is projected to drain a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. That’s not to mention the other impacts of fast fashion, including water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals, and child labour and sweat shops.
But when we’re so detached from the ‘behind the scenes’ of the truth behind fast fashion, it’s understandable why we’re so seduced by it. We all love a good bargain, and it’s hard to resist the temptation of new designs shops offer weekly to keep up with our increasing demand for ‘newness’, largely fuelled by social media.
However it’s time to invest in the ‘less is more’ approach, and adopt a slow, sustainable approach to fashion. Choosing quality over quantity will have a transformative effect on our environment, as well as one on your wardrobe. Investing in pieces to love and last for years will encourage you to have more fun with your looks, finding new ways to style your pieces in a fresh, contemporary way.
Good news is, it’s even easier to adopt this approach as we get older. Typically we become less trend focused, and more interested in exploring our own personal style constantly aesthetics. With more confidence, we’re less subject to peer pressure, and the desire to be on trend to ‘fit in’.
Tips to transform your wardrobe into one you will love forever
The only tricky part is to know where to start. So here are some tips on how to transform your wardrobe into one you will love forever:
- Have a wardrobe clearance.
Start by going through your wardrobe and clearing out the pieces you know you’ll definitely never wear again – whether that’s because you bought them impulsively in a sale, they aren’t the right size, they bring you bad memories, or simply that you have no occasion for them anymore. Make a note of these pieces so as to avoid purchasing similar again, and then donate to charity (do not burn la Burberry).
If there are pieces in your wardrobe that you really can’t part with, but they’ve seen better days, repair them. And if you’re pretty sure the item will never come back into fashion, transform it into something new. Check out Pinterest for some great ideas.
Analyse your hardest wearing pieces
Once you’ve cleared out your wardrobe, take some time considering why there are some garments you wear time and time again. Perhaps it’s their cut that particularly flatters you, or you have the most occasions to wear them. These are the types of pieces to invest in. You’ll be able to wear quality versions for years, rather than constantly having to buy replacements as they get worn out.
- Opt for modern classics
When spending more money on clothes, avoid pieces that are highly trend driven. Instead choose wardrobe staples: jeans, a great coat, a beautiful dress, a stunning blouse and a gorgeous bag are perfect places to start. They don’t have to be boring; they can still be contemporary and cool. And they may even very subtly nod to a recent trend. But they aren’t so on the nose that they’ll be out of style within 6 months.
- It’s ok to invest in something ‘special’
You can still treat yourself to something truly special and different. The key is to make sure it will fit into your wardrobe alongside your other pieces. A good trick is to create a pinterest or mood board featuring pictures of your existing pieces, and then add the garment to the collage to see if it works. You may have fewer occasions to wear it, but if you can style it in multiple ways with your other garments, you won’t regret it.
Jacynth Bassett is the founder of the-Bias-Cut – Shopping With Attitude Where Ageism Is Never In Style. Swiftly becoming recognised as one of the UK’s leading pioneers of style at every age, she has written on the topic for The Guardian online, The Huffington Post, and contributed to a chapter on grown up style for an internationally published book. She has also been featured in the likes of the New Statesman, regularly speak on panels and podcasts, and is a ViewVo accredited business mentor. Plus she is a weekly and monthly style columnist for various leading 40+ online platforms. In her spare time, she loves to dance, specialising in hip-hop, and to dine out with family and friends.