Perhaps it’s slightly ironic that I’m writing a post about buying more effectively on Black Friday of all days! But it’s become quite the buzz word recently in the fashion world. Do we actually know the effects of our shopping habits? Is fast fashion changing the way we shop? And what’s the real effect on our environment? While some of these questions are hard to answer in a short post, I do want to talk about simple things you can do to make your shopping and your wardrobe more sustainable.
First of all, sustainability usually encompasses a huge ethical theory behind it, but put simply it is about developing a system where fashion impacts the environment as little as possible, if at all. This however can be difficult when there is such a huge demand around the world for clothing and the latest trends. It’s a billion dollar business and of course is not always as eco friendly as one might hope. Especially since the eruption of online bloggers (yes, that includes me, I know) and the development of a fast fashion world where everything must be had the next day and thrown away just as quickly.
Here on rayofstyle, I try very hard to bring you the latest trends and clothes so that you can shop my looks when you see an item of clothing that you like. But I also use a lot of clothes on here that I’ve had for a while, sometimes years! This is mainly because I still love those items and still want to wear them. But it’s hard when you are up against bloggers and influencers constantly pumping out posts and instagram photos with brand new items ready to buy online. I always feel bad posting photos on here when I’m wearing clothing I’ve already shown you or something that is no longer available to buy, because then you can’t buy it for yourself. Sometimes I think ‘what’s the point in showing them something I’ve worn already?’ But clothing is my passion and although I love to buy new pieces I also love to wear items I’ve had for ages. I also believe it’s great to show you guys that I’ve worn something multiple times because it’s shows how versatile that piece is and how it can be worn in different ways. Okay, so you can’t buy what I’m wearing? But maybe you already have a similar item and it’s shown you how you can rewear it? Or maybe I’ve linked something similar and you prefer that? Does everything have to be new?
Something I’ve been working on for a while is building up my vintage clothing. This is a fantastic way to combat fast fashion as of course all the pieces are second hand. You guys know my favourite vintage store in Brighton is Beyond Retro. It’s full of vintage wear, mainly from the 90’s and a great place to shop for jeans. Charity shops have had some stigma over the years, even I used to turn my nose up at them. But if you choose the right area, for example a charity shop in Notting Hill or the Seven Dials area of Brighton then you can real find some treasures. Often I find pieces from Zara and TopShop for under £5! I’ve even managed to find some designer pieces for a fraction of the price! So what, it’s second hand? After a quick spin in the washer you’d never know and they have to be of a certain quality to be resold anyway. My favourite charity shop to buy in tends to be Mind. This charity supports mental health services and is very close to my heart.
Depop is a great app for buying and selling old clothes. I’ve used it lots recently to sell my old items. I follow a lot of bloggers and influences on there which is great as I can buy their old clothes! This way you make a bit of money too.
Okay so on to an outfit. Here I wanted to show you how you can mix new with old. I’ve styled my new pinafore from TopShop which I got in the sale! I paired it with an old turtle neck from Marks and Spencer and a coat that I’ve had for over 4 years from Zara. I love how these pieces work together and how much use I’ve gotten out of them. I think the key to buying is to always buy items that will last and won’t easily go out of style. Camel coats and turtle necks will always be a wardrobe staple hence why they’ve lasted me so well the last few years. And on that note, this coming Monday a video will be going up on my channel with a haul where I’ve bought things that are versatile and complete wardrobe staples. I see the irony in buying clothes to prove that point but it’s okay to buy clothes, just keep in mind, the longer you make them last, the less effect on the environment.
This is just the beginning, I want to research more in to truly sustainable clothing brands that are environmentally friendly from the first thread to the final result. Please let me know of any that you’ve tried or heard of.
All photos by Stacey Louise White
Shop the look:
Pinafore – similar linked as sold out (typical)
Boots – Louis Vuitton, no longer available