Having a wardrobe crisis? Check out our Sustainable Style Webinar replay where we share inspiration for how you can infuse sustainability principles into the daily act of getting dressed.
Earlier this week, we held a Sustainable Style Webinar to help our community prepare for our annual Refugee Week Fundraiser - Wear The Change. We recorded the event for those who were unable to attend live, so grab your headphones and enjoy! We’re sure you'll find the insights, tips and discussion as stimulating as we did!
We were honoured to have Clare Press from The Wardrobe Crisis join us on the webinar to discuss how we can rewear and style joyfully in order to be more sustainable. She also goes into some detail on the impacts of the fashion on people and planet, some of the challenges we’re facing alongside some of the opportunities and innovations that are bringing hope.
Clare shared with us that in the 15 year period since the year 2000 annual clothing production has more than doubled, up from 50 billion garments to 100 bullion garments in 2015. When clothing is mass produced at this level it is very harmful for the environment and as much as 5% of carbon emissions come from the fashion industry. What's even worse is that 73% of all clothes will end up in landfill and are often brought to developing countries and left to sit on a dumping ground.
So what can we do about all this?
The Wear The Change campaign encourages us all to be more mindful with our fashion choices by inviting participants to restyle 1 garment 5 ways over 5 days.
“Wear the change is a practical application of what it really means to have sustainable fashion”. Clare Press
Clare mentions that the length of time you keep a garment in your wardrobe can have a much bigger impact on the environment than you’d think. For example, wearing 1 item for just 9 months longer than the point at which you think, “hmmm time to throw this one out”, can reduce its carbon, water and waste footprint by 20%. But in order to extend the life of our clothing, we need to care for them well (which includes how we wash them as well as our willingness to mend them) so they last longer. It also requires we get creative and find inspiration for how to restyle and enjoy wearing each garment longer so they still feel like a valuable member of our wardrobe ;)
To further unpack what Sustainable Style really means, Kate and Eliza from The Social Outfit discussed how you can infuse sustainability principles into the daily act of getting dressed.
These were their top tips:
1- Buy investment pieces from ethical sustainable brands
Buy clothes that are good quality that will last you a long time from brands that don’t harm the planet through their processes. ‘Good on You’ is an app you can use to check brand ratings on the issues that you are about.
2- Versatility - beyond trends
Shop for items that will be able to pair well with other items in your wardrobe. Try not to get caught up in fast fashion trends that will go in and out of style.
3- Garment Care
Take good care of your clothes. Follow their wash instructions and treat them well to ensure they will last you a long time.
When your clothes get damaged try your best to repair them. A simple needle and thread can sometimes derail an item from ending up in a landfill.
5- Swap, borrow, share, rent
You don’t always need to buy something new. Try reaching out to your friends when you're looking to try a new look. Many events require us to wear something that we may never need to wear again. Another solution is to rent clothing rather than buying it.
By incorporating these sustainable style principles into how we dress, we begin to care more about our garments, where they came from, how we treat them while they are with us, and what happens to them after we are done with them. And by discovering our own unique style we can free ourselves from the over consumption trap of fast fashion trends!!
We hope that everyone participating in the Wear The Change campaign will have fun getting creative with the art of dress and that the experience encourages reflection on what it means to be both sustainable and fashionable.