Sustainable shopping – Why Now Is The Perfect Time to Rethink The Way You Shop

Monday 29th Jun 2020 |

Rachel Bradley, founder of Gossip Girl PR and sustainable fashion enthusiast

So we’re back in the game.  Shops are open for business and people seem hungry for their fast-fashion fix.  But before you join the queue, maybe it’s time to rethink the way you shop for the latest trends.

Lockdown has meant that the unforgiving pace of fast fashion has had to slow down.  True, Sustainable shopping has been in the fashion spotlight for a number of seasons now but lockdown has made us all refocus our shopping habits.  Because we’ve not been able to browse in our lunch hour, we’re starting to question whether we really need those splashy new pieces that we previously had to have.  And let’s face it; surely we have something similar in our wardrobes anyway?

As we ease out of lockdown and start to think about easing out of our #WFH Lululemon leggings and Birkenstock combo, here are just a few ways you can restyle the way you shop whilst still looking cool as we head into Summer.

Who Made My Clothes?

“I think it’s becoming increasing important to know who is making your clothes” explains Jill White, founder of made to measure womenswear brand Distinctively Me.  The London-based brand specialises in soft tailoring for women of all ages and body shapes.  Each super-stylish piece is designed and made in London.  At a price point that’s more affordable than you might think, wearing a piece made just for you, in a style and shape that fits to perfection, will become a joy. 

Invest in trans-seasonal pieces

When it comes to buying less and buying better, be confident in your own style and ask yourself whether you’ll want to wear the piece again in six months time. Sustainable shopping is about prioritising style over trends so know what suits you, wear it with confidence and buy the best you can afford.  Similarly, if you’re opting to buy, let’s say a wear-forever blazer, consider whether you can mix it with things you already have in your wardrobe.   I’ve got my eye on this Balmain-inspired boucle jacket.  A piece that I know will go with everything season after seasonI’ve done the fashion maths and cost per wear means it’s a steal!

Distinctively Me Made to Measure Boucle Jacket £565

New doesn’t always mean better

It’s about changing your mind-set around clothes that have been worn by someone else.  Pre-loved clothes are a great way to inject some new pieces into your capsule collection.  And don’t think you have to compromise on quality.  I’ve picked up cashmere for £10 in charity bargain bins and my orange suede Celine sandals may only be ‘nearly new’ but at £25 I’m not complaining.

There’s nothing more sustainable than buying vintage but if trawling through the rails really isn’t your thing, check out Vestiaire Collective where you’ll discover plenty of designer gems including Louis Vuitton, Hermes and more. 

Instagram is a treasure-trove of pre-loved fashion.  Be sure to check out @preloveddesignersale for pre-loved pieces from Ganni and Rixo.  It runs regular Insta-flash sales from fashion bloggers, who sell their gifted items to raise money for charity.

Sustainable shopping – Shop your OWN wardrobe

The most sustainable clothes are the ones you already own and there really couldn’t be a better time to shop your wardrobe.  “The future seems so uncertain and many of us are unsure where the next few months will take us.  We’re being encouraged to ‘Live In The Moment’ so why not ‘Dress In The Moment’ too.” suggests Maggie McMillan, a Personal Branding & Wardrobe Consultant based in Henley. 

Now is the time to look at our existing wardrobes through new eyes.   Maggie suggests wearing those special items we usually save for occasions, because let’s face it, those occasions may never happen post-lockdown.  So that gorgeous sequin skirt needs to be worn right now!  Dress your ‘wow’ pieces down with a great white tee shirt or sweatshirt and sneakers, advises Maggie.   That maxi dress which you were saving for your summer holiday will look great with your favourite leather jacket and those gorgeous statement shoes will liven up your plainest outfit.   It’s time to go shopping in our wardrobes, thinking outside the box, mixing and matching colours, patterns and pieces in new ways to create interesting feel-good looks. 

Live in the moment but dress in the moment.