I’d like to say i’m all about the New Year’s resolution: the type of person who not only sets myself life-improving targets but who actually achieves them. Unfortunately I’m not that person. In fact I’ve never even made a new year’s resolution, due more to lack of organisation rather than lack of necessity. I decided this year would be the year, but now that we are one week in, and Tesco yesterday had shelves full of Easter eggs. I'm thinking i've missed the boat.
However there is no denying the start of a year is a good time to take stock in some way, and what we wear and how we source it is surely a good place to start. (Possibly shallow but it avoids all that messy soul searching.) This year there is no getting away from the need to be more sustainable with our shopping, but often achieving it can feel like a minefield, especially when fast fashion is just a mouse click away. So here to help is my top ten of ways we can all start or continue to shop sustainably in 2022. Lets call it a resolution.
1. Shop Sustainable and Ethical. Stores and brands who only use ethically produced fabrics from reputable suppliers with acceptable pay and working conditions are the most authentic example of 'sustainability'. I love East London store 69B who only stock brands that fit this criteria. ( Also try LOWIE and WOLF AND BADGER for sustainable brand inspiration)
2. Choose Preloved High Street: The best way to indulge the fast fashion fix with a clearer conscience. These Zara sequin trousers are now sold out but I hunted them down in one click on Depop. (Also Try VINTED AND EBAY)
3. Shop Independent: The best way to start finding good independent stores and labels who care about their supply chain and often use locally sourced fabrics and methods, is to look first to your local high street. Busby and Fox is my local, ( Shot here on Helen Skelton) but there are now countless independants up and down the country. ( Other favourites are TALLULAH AND HOPE, STUDIO B and WYSE LONDON)
4. Choose Preloved Luxury: Preloved luxury has been on the rise and rise as people choose to invest in quality at a most affordable pricepoint. This Kenzo sweatshirt is from one of my go to's Edit Secondhand, who do an excellent line in preloved mid luxury, and high end bags and accessories. (Also try VESTIARE, RELLIK and COCOON REFRESH )
5. Rent Fashion: Just a few years ago the idea of renting fashion was totally off radar, but it's fast becoming the 'shopping' of choice. On Loan have fantastic insta worthy brands and a subscription service to encourage renting for every occasion not just a special event. ( Also try HURR and MYWARDOBEHQ and ROTARO)
6. Trawl Charity Shops: Don't forget the humble charity shop. A high street charity trawl is a massively satisfying way to add to our wardrobes, this linen skirt was £5 from Oxfam where you can now even shop online.
7. Hunt out Pop Up Fairs and Events: We Are Second Life run events around the country where vintage clothing is charged by the kilo. ( I am booked in to one this month and can't wait) Find them on eventbrite.
8. Make Holiday Purchases: Admittedly holidays are currently a distant dream for most of us, but everywhere you visit keep an eye out for local Vintage Stores, Independents and souvenir stores to add something original to your wardrobe that you will be more inclined to keep for years to come. This kaftan was picked up on an Australian road trip and I've worn it on every summer holiday since.
9. Swap your clothes The clothes swap party is my current favourite thing, not least for its pleasingly retro connotations, plus is the ultimate guilt-free shopping spree. Pinterest has a wealth of clothes swap party planning ideas to set you on your way but there are also bigger swapping events now organised countrywide. See EventBrite for details.
10. And finally use Instagram. There are many accounts popping up that sell on the preloved wardrobes of celebs or influencers, like The Second Row. Finally a more sustainable way to access celebrity style.