by Tia Janowski
With sustainable fashion becoming extremely popular in 2022, people are now becoming more aware of how detrimental fashion production can be on the environment. Fashion trends are putting a lot of demand on the fashion industry and promoting throwaway culture, with the American Chemical Society suggesting that fashion production will triple by 2050. Now, many people are choosing to make the switch to more sustainable options, however it can be hard to know where to start. However, from fashion rental, to clothes swaps and online vintage stores, sustainable fashion now has more variety than never making having a sustainable wardrobe so much easier.
An alternative to the popular re-selling site, Depop, Vinted makes starting your sustainable fashion journey simple. A brand committed to promoting second-hand shopping, their websites says, “Sell the clothes that have more to give. Shop for items you won’t find on the high street. Vinted is open to everyone who believes that good clothes should live long.”
A common issue with similar sites such a Depop is that many people dropship, meaning they buy cheap fast fashion items and re-sell them for double the price. As Vinted isn’t as well-known as Depop, drop-shipping is very uncommon which means the items available are genuinely second-hand. Vinted is also incredibly easy to use and accessible for many with its effective filters and variety in prices and styles due to individual sellers.
Fashion rental is definitely a newer method of sustainable shopping but it’s also one of the most effective in encouraging a sustainable wardrobe. This method of shopping allows you to borrow clothes for a certain amount of time and then return them to the company once you’re done. This means that you can have the thrill of new outfits without taking part in throwaway culture.
In the past, fashion rental companies were used primarily for renting garments for special occasions, such as weddings, but now you’re able to rent a variety of items online for your everyday wardrobe. By using fashion rental services, clothes are constantly being reused meaning that since 2010, fashion rental has prevented the production of over 1.3 billion garments.
If this seems like a sustainable option for you, here a couple of our favourites:
By Rotation- Offering both fashion rental and, as of 2022, a resale functionality that means you’re able to buy the items you rent if you decide you want them to be a permanent part of your wardrobe.
Huur- Includes mid-range and luxury brands at a more affordable price. The brand is based around accessibility, aiming to create a route to luxury fashion for a mainstream market.
Much like fashion rental, clothing swaps are definitely more of a newer way to shop sustainably. And one company that’s majorly helping globalise clothes swapping: Big Sister Swap.
Big Sister Swap is an online personalised swapping service that allows you to send in your unwanted clothes in return for handpicked, pre-loved items. The brand aims to encourage swapping not shopping by showing everyone their clothes have a new life with new owners. Their swapping service encourages a circular economy that eliminates textiles waste which is considered one of the most effective ways of transforming fashion into a sustainable industry.
On their website they state that, “We will never buy new. If we don’t have something to send you from our other swappers we will only get things from charity shops or sustainable sources.” Big Sister Swap not only makes having a sustainable wardrobe easy but it’s also incredibly affordable. They offer a huge range of options depending how many clothes you want to swap and the service works out at an average of £5 or less an item, making this one of the cheapest options on this list.
Clothes swapping can also easily be done between your own circle - it’s super simple. Just get your friends and family to sort through their wardrobes and see if you can exchange with your own old items. This can be a really fun activity as well as being a style revamp!
If you’re looking for specifically vintage items to suit your pre-existing wardrobe, online vintage stores are a great option for this. Shopping from vintage stores is a very easy way to be more sustainable as these stores have the ability to both mend and restore preloved clothes, giving them a new lease of life that untrained depop sellers can’t.
Beyond Retro is a particularly popular online vintage store that have a large variety of styles available due to their items being sourced up to six months in advance with attention paid to trends. When it comes to being sustainable, their website states that; “We believe that vintage and second-hand clothing is the future of fashion”. This proves true as the company and their parent company, Bank and Vogue, rehome 90 million items in an average year.
All of these options are a great place to start your sustainable fashion journey, When starting to consider sustainable options, the brands we’ve mentioned are some of the best. However, it’s also important to remember that even if when shopping secondhand it’s still important to ensure the items you get are something you know you’ll make good use of. Ensure you’re not adding to throwaway culture just because you’re not feeding into fast fashion.
As we begin the new year, start it right by beginning your sustainable fashion journey.