Clothes lovers solve the fashion crisis

 
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On June 18th 2019, proposals put forward by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) to curb fast fashion were rejected. While the government may have buried their heads in piles of unwanted clothing, consumers and businesses are taking control of the fast fashion crisis. So, I’ve taken to my laptop and braved the endless internet landscape to find the companies that are paving the way for a sustainable fashion industry.

Fast fashion is polluting the planet

WRAP estimates that ‘£140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year’. As fashion becomes cheaper and is produced more quickly, the industry sends a message to consumers – fashion is disposable. Who needs to buy second-hand when brand new clothes are cheaper? The pressure to stay on trend increases as new designs replace ‘old’ at an alarming rate. As a result, the fashion industry is pumping out more and more carbon emissions to keep up with this heightened demand, while landfill sites are becoming the world’s largest wardrobe. However, it’s not just the public that are throwing away their clothes, back in 2018 big fashion brands such as Burberry and Richemont admitted to destroying unsold products rather than selling them at reduced prices. This wasteful attitude to fashion must be stopped however, the government doesn’t seem to understand the urgency of this problem.

UK government rejects proposals to curb fast fashion emissions

In February the EAC put forward a number of proposals that seek to tackle the emissions and waste produced by the fashion industry. For example, a ban on destroying unsold products which could be recycled is a simple solution to this aspect of the fashion waste issue. Tax breaks that would reward businesses that operate sustainably could be vital to encouraging responsible fashion production. Every single proposal was rejected by the government. According to Ecotextile ‘The government[…] said that “positive approaches” are required to find outlets for waste textiles “rather than simply imposing a landfill ban.”’ Once again, our government refuses to make the tough yet necessary decisions required to preserve our planet.

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Consumers are taking control

Do not be disheartened! Despite this setback, eco-conscious consumers and business owners are taking control of the clothing crisis. We all know that buying quality clothes is better for the environment but, it can be pretty expensive. Learning how to curate a capsule wardrobe takes some serious skill. While I really admire those women who can pack for a holiday in one small bag, I must confess that I just don’t have the time to learn the craft of producing ‘day-to-night’ looks. Luckily, there are some amazing clothing companies that are making it so much easier to wear green.

Renting

By choosing to rent, not only will you be reducing the demand for new clothing and the carbon emissions that come with it, but you’ll finally be able to shut your wardrobe! Although I was building some impressive muscles every time I had to rifle through my clothes to find a new outfit, you just can’t beat the feeling of browsing through an organised, eco-friendly clothing collection.

Let’s take a look at a few companies that are offering revolutionary renting opportunities.

The HURR Collective

© The HURR Collective  - sustainable fashion influencer  Venetia Falconer  wearing a rented Ganni dress in California

© The HURR Collective - sustainable fashion influencer Venetia Falconer wearing a rented Ganni dress in California

© The HURR Collective  - Renia ( @venswifestyle ) a well known blogger who rented her clutch bag for LFW

© The HURR Collective - Renia (@venswifestyle) a well known blogger who rented her clutch bag for LFW

HURR is an ultra-modern, online renting platform that feels exclusive at a fraction of the price. Just apply to become a member of this collective of eco-conscious fashionistas and you’ll have access to an impressive library of amazing garments and accessories. The sense of community is really important to HURR so, not only can you rent garments, but you can also lend your wardrobe to the other likeminded women that use this site. HURR’s founders Victoria and Matthew take renting to the next level, by incorporating geo-tagging and AI-powered fashion stylists into their site.

So, if you just can’t wait to join the HURR collective, head to their website hurrcollective.com

Bundlee

Do we have any new mums or mummies-to-be in the audience? We have got the mother of all baby clothing tips for you! For £19 per month, a capsule wardrobe of stylish and sustainable clothing in your baby’s current size will be delivered to your door. When your bundle of joy outgrows these clothes, just send them back and a brand new bag of goodies will arrive to replace them. Every garment is professionally cleaned and checked for quality. Those items that have been loved a little too much will be donated families in need.

To find out more, visit bundlee.co.uk

Hirestreet

If you’re interested in renting on a budget then Hirestreet is the place to go. Here you’ll find quality, fashionable clothing at high street prices. From formal eveningwear to elegant day dresses, this clothing library is enormous and even includes a maternity section.

Start searching for your next look here, hirestreetuk.com

Buying second-hand

While renting is great for finding those stand-out garments that will really turn heads at special occasions, buying second-hand is definitely the way to go for every day outfits.

Loopster

This one goes out to all the mum’s and dad’s that are drowning in children’s clothing that doesn’t actually fit their child anymore! Simply send your unwanted garments to Loopster, where they will sort through your submission and pay you for any quality pieces. The rest of your items will either be returned to you or donated to Traid. Once you’ve created a bit of space in your child’s wardrobe, you can browse through the other hand-checked garments on the Loopster site.

For more information, head to the Loopster website loopster.co.uk

Patatam

© Patatam  - originally posted on Instagram  @patatam_uk

© Patatam - originally posted on Instagram @patatam_uk

© Patatam  - originally posted on Instagram  @patatam_uk

© Patatam - originally posted on Instagram @patatam_uk

Do you wish buying second-hand felt more like buying new? Sometimes, the thought of rummaging through jam-packed charity shop rails or endlessly scrolling through badly lit smartphone pics on eBay can really put me off second-hand shopping. The Patatam site is clean and sophisticated, with professional images of quality garments. If it weren’t for the price tag, you’d have no idea these were preloved pieces.

You must check out this site, patatam.co.uk

Vinted

Through Vinted, you can become part of an online community of people who love fashion and the planet in equal measure. Create a profile to sell your unwanted clothing before replacing them with gorgeous pieces listed by other Vinted members.

Create your profile here, vinted.co.uk

New technology is transforming old clothes

Now that our wardrobes are full of amazing second-hand clothing, what do we do when a garment becomes unwearable and beyond our ability to make-do and mend? re:newcell is an innovative company that has developed technology which can break garments down to a cellular level in order to create new fabric. Okay, I might sound like a bit of nerd here, but this makes me so excited! Recycling processes for clothing are notoriously difficult to achieve successfully, so every new development in this field is cause for celebration. Currently, re:newcell technology works with fabrics that have a high cotton and viscose content. The cellulosic content of these garments is turned into a pulp which can then be used to make fabric again. Technology such as this has the power to create a circular fashion industry. So, I will wear my nerd badge with pride and do a little dance in the name of recycling!

To find out more about re:newcell, click here

Have you got any experience renting or buying second-hand clothing? We’d love to see a pic of you in your fave sustainable outfit. Use the hashtag #monkeywrenchnews and tag our founder @alexandrajellicoe