Should we be shopping the sales?
Ellie Lewis explores the best places to search for more sustainable additions to your wardrobe
Lockdown boredom and fantasies of a revamped post-Covid-wardrobe mean online sales are an inevitable place to turn. Straight after Christmas when your bank balance is looking low the reductions seen on many fast fashion sites are very appealing. Right now, on PrettyLittleThing I could buy a dress, a jacket, shoes and jewellery all for £13.50. The low prices make items very attractive but it’s important to think before clicking buy; if they were more expensive would you even want them?
There is no need to lecture you on the social and environmental impact of fast fashion, but there are some key facts to remember before purchasing from these unsustainable companies:
Textile production produces more CO2 each year than international flights and maritime shipping combined, producing one cotton T-shirt uses as much water as one person could drink in 3 years, and in 71 of the UK’s leading retailers, 77 per cent believe their production uses modern slavery“How to Break Up with Fast Fashion” by Lauren Bravo pp.50-51
So, at the start of my second year without buying fast fashion here are my sustainable ways to buy yourself out of boredom…
Second-hand sites: while the holy grail of sustainable shopping, charity shops, are shut, places such as Depop, Vinted, eBay and even Facebook marketplace can provide both vintage and high street clothes at a range of prices.
Declutter your wardrobe: by organising your clothes you can remove the clothes which put you off when looking for outfit inspiration and you might find things to fall back in love with. Ask your friends if they want the clothes you don’t- you can drop them round on your daily exercise (hopefully they will return the favour)!
Sustainable shops: That being said, there is nothing like a brand-new piece of clothing which you know you can send back if it doesn’t fit. Sustainable shops are often thought of as frumpy, but there are many which sell on-trend pieces at high street prices. My favourites are Lucy & Yak (a sustainable and unisex brand) and Rokit Originals. At slightly more expensive shops, like House of Sunny, Peachy den, Patagonia or Veja, you could save up the total you might spend on a few sales and buy one high-quality item you love.
It’s important to remember to be conscious when you buy, but imperfect sustainability is better than not being sustainable at all!