And The Importance of Clothes Sharing in the Fight Against Fast Fashion
Last week I wrote a post on The Five R’s of Sustainability where I addressed five simple steps towards a more eco-friendly closet. One detail in this blogpost I wanted to elaborate more on today is the importance of clothes sharing and just how fun it can be.
A little while ago, Aisling from The Nu Wardrobe reached out to me to talk about the devastating impacts of fast fashion on the environment and the creative way she and The Nu Wardrobe team are striving for a more ethical solution to our fast fashion addiction.
In the UK and Ireland alone there is currently more than €33 billion worth of unused clothing sitting in wardrobes all across the two islands. The vast majority of these unused textiles will contribute to the 300,000 tonnes of clothing that the UK throws into landfill each year. And that’s excluding the waste produced by the Republic of Ireland.
The Nu Wardrobe are striving to reduce the environmental impact of textile waste as well as the overall human rights issue associated with the way our clothes are manufactured by coming up with an online platform where young women can share clothes with their friends as well as other members of the Nu community. Exchanging outfits is no doubt an amazing alternative to constantly buying new ones. It provides us with the opportunity to wear something new without the additional damage to our wallets and to the environment.
As a member of Nu, users gain access to a changing wardrobe that competes with fast fashion in terms of convenience and affordability. Think of it as kind of a public wardrobe where you can go and rent anything you want any time you want.
When you share a piece with The Nu Wardrobe, the lender of each item of clothing is provided with a contract between her and the borrower. This way you can rest assured that damages done to the garments (should there be any) will be reimbursed. For more expensive items the borrower must also pay a deposit so you never really need to worry about the upkeep of the clothes. In this way The Nu Wardrobe makes clothes sharing feel safe and reliable.
One thing that is really quite special about The Nu Wardrobe is the fact that it makes for a more fair world for women. On the one hand borrowing clothes reduces our consumption of fast fashion brands that exploit female garment workers in the fabrication of the clothes we wear, while on the other hand women gain access to a whole new array of clothing that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford if they were buying something new each time. By recirculating fashion we extend the lifestyle of our clothes and significantly reduce textile waste. Plus you get to wear something new without actually buying it which is always an obvious bonus.
Below, myself and my graphic designer friend Hanna put together a little clothes sharing editorial for you guys. It was honestly such an amazing experience exchanging pieces and it’s funny how although we’re wearing some of the same clothing in the photoshoot, having such a contrasting sense of style means that each piece we wear is entirely transformed to create a look that is original and unique. If there was anything to learn from this experience it’s that clothes sharing is as good for friendship as it is for the environment because it was so much fun getting to raid each other’s closets and seeing how we could wear each other’s clothes in ways we never even would have thought of before.
The first outfit is this sunflower print co-ord that I definitely don’t get enough wear out of for how cute it is. To make up for the environmental cost of your clothing you have to wear each item at least 30 times. We’re all guilty of having so many unworn clothes lying around which is why lending them is such a great idea.
When Hanna asked me if she could style the top half of the co-ord I couldn’t wait to see what kind of look she was going to come up with. Her style is really edgy yet really laid back and I love the summery tumblr vibe she gives to the look. Especially in the photo above with the actual sunflower field in the background!
The key piece of this second outfit is this very basic white t-shirt with a cute print on the front. It’s amazing how versatile such a basic piece can be. Hanna’s signature look is tying a basic tee over a pair of high waisted denim shorts and completing the outfit with a comfy flannel shirt and stylish chain belt. For my take on this outfit, I went for something simple, chic and summery by tucking the shirt into these paper bag shorts for a look that was more casual and understated.
And here’s us together, in a field of sunflowers outside of Paris wearing each other’s outfits.
If you guys are interested in the subject of slow fashion and would like to know more about the fashion revolution then I would definitely recommend checking out fashionrevolution.org or joining the Nu Wardrobe so that you too can start sharing clothes.
What do you guys think about the idea of borrowing clothes to save money and the environment? I’d love to hear all bout it in the comments below! That’s all from me for now. Thank you guys so much for reading and I’ll see you very soon.
~ Mandy xx