Following COP26, we’re more aware than ever that we all have a role to play in fighting climate change – and rethinking how we dress is one of the things we can do.
This party season, environmental charity Hubbub is challenging people to wear something they already have instead of buying something new.
Why? Because the most sustainable outfit is the one already in your wardrobe.
The UK’s addiction to fast fashion is damaging the planet. According to the government’s Fixing Fashion report, in the UK around 300,000 tonnes of used clothes are burned or buried in landfill each year.
Like single-use plastics, clothing manufacturing is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution, and polyester – ubiquitous in cheap fast fashion – pumps out microplastics when washed. These break down into smaller and smaller pieces and never actually disappear.
A recent survey by Censuswide, commissioned by Hubbub, found that one in eight (over 7 million) adults plan to buy at least one new piece of clothing for this year’s party season – that’s £330.5 million on party season clothes alone.
What’s more over 3 million admit they plan to buy online, sending at least one item back. With an average of four pieces of clothing being bought and two pieces being sent back, that’s 12.3 million items of clothing set to be returned.
‘Fashion is such an important part of so many of our lives but we can still look great without harming the planet. Buying something new shouldn’t be the default when there are so many gems hiding in wardrobes all across the UK. This festive season we’re asking people to get inventive by restyling something they already own to give last year’s fashion a new life.’
Hubbub suggests five greener options this season:
1. Rewear, restyle or upcycle an outfit you already own.
2. Borrow or swap with friends.
3. Rent from one of the great rental sites available like Loanhood, By Rotation, Hurr or others – or chose peer-to-peer rentals and look for people nearby to rent from.
4. Buy secondhand from a vintage shop, online reseller or a charity shop.
5. Join thlBe movement post your outfits on social with the #ThanksItsLastYears.
‘Much of my career has been focused on hero-ing the value and beauty in existing textiles and clothing, and at this time of year which can sometimes (with all the parties and meetups and gifting) feel like it’s rooted in ‘excess’, it’s all the more important to really lean into enjoying your own wardrobe.
‘Personally, I love the exercise of digging into my wardrobe to find old gems and to create fun party season looks from my favourites. And in doing this that I’m reminded that I really don’t need ANOTHER new party outfit. Give it a go and I bet you’ll feel the same.’
EMMA SLADE EDMONDSON
Slow fashion consultant
Hubbub’s recent survey also found 57 million little black dresses (LBDs) lingering in wardrobes waiting to be zhuzhed up for the party season.
This is why Hubbub is joining forces with fashion influencers to fight waste through the #LBDChallenge.
The challenge involves simple tips and inspiration to encourage LBD owners across the UK to glam-up this sophisticated wardrobe staple and rethink their shopping plans.
Go to Hubbub.org.uk or @helloHubbub on Insta for more info and inspiration.
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