Clothes and Us
My school is a non-uniform school. On the one hand, that’s great – we get to express our individuality by wearing the clothes we like instead of all having to conform with an identical uniform. On the other hand, it means have to spend a huge amount of time thinking about clothes.
When I was younger, I just wore what my mum bought me. I had flowery-pattererned cotton trousers, bright, colourful t-shirts made of beautiful, soft fabrics- all nice stuff, all built to last, but scorned by my H&M-wearing, neon-polyester-loving schoolmates. They didn’t care for sensible and lasting. They wanted popular, cheap and flimsy.
We have wardrobes filled with clothes we don’t even wear. We buy on impulse and then forget things. How many of us have crumpled shirts and old cardigans hiding in the back of the wardrobe? I’d bet most of us have.
What’s the solution?
So how do we fix this problem? Do we buy all of our clothing second-hand, upcycle our old stuff and repair all that we can? Or do we buy a few expensive but well-made pieces made from eco materials, and then aim to keep them until they wear out?
I think the answer, as it always does, lies somewhere between them all. Yes, second-hand clothes are a great idea (my mum spends a good deal of her time on eBay), but thrift shops thrive on the fast-fashion industry. The clothes in there are often the victims of changing fashion, badly made and destined to die within a few months.
I love solutions, and, failing that, at least ideas towards a solution, so here are ideas on being thoughtful with your clothing:
There are plenty of companies promoting sustainable fashion- check out BeGood, Alternative Apparel and Nudie Jeans. Watch this space for ideas on upcycling clothes and holding a swap shop with your mates- I’m off to dig through my wardrobe and find long-forgotten favourites. What are your eco-fashion tips? Do you agree with mine? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
~ this whole wide world