Breathing New Life Into Old Clothes

COVID-19 has been the destroyer of dreams this year, cancelling hundreds of fashion shows worldwide. However, looking on the bright side, coronavirus has made thousands of people turn their attention back to their wardrobes…!

Back in March 2020, the first national lockdown gave thousands the opportunity to rummage inside and re-visit the darkest corners of their wardrobes, sorting through worn-out garments and forgotten about clothes that hadn’t been thought about since purchase. Particularly this year, more and more brands are beginning to move towards a more sustainable way of producing fashion. However, shoppers continue to have a responsibility of buying sustainably and deciding as to what happens next with their clothes after they become ‘out of fashion’ or unloved. But what is the right decision to make?

Reality TV show, Made in Chelsea, showed viewers back in October Marc Francis, (who has been on the show since it’s first episode aired back in 2011), talking about a new project called ‘I Saved You’, funded by the ethically-minded platform ‘Loop Generation’. According to Marc Francis, this project is said to be ‘all about taking things that would have ended up in landfill and rescuing them, bringing them back to life’*. As stated by Loop Generation, ‘only 20% of garments are given a second chance, either by a new owner or by being recycled’, with the remaining 80% being destined for incineration or put directly to landfill. In the UK alone, an estimated £140 million worth of used clothing goes to landfill every year, which is around 350,000 tonnes – a figure that will continue to rise. Returning to the episode of Made in Chelsea, Marc Francis calls on friend Rosi Mai, for help in the new project. After searching through her ‘six or seven’ wardrobes, to her surprise she found pieces that she had ‘actually never worn before’, with most still having the label still on them – a discovery which i’m sure we will all be familiar with. Following on from her discovery, Rosi states that ‘it is so important to breathe new life into old things, and old doesn’t mean ugly, it can be beautiful’ – in other words, fashion is what you make it (whether that be brand new or years old).

The fashion industry is ever-growing and so is the rate at which we are throwing away clothes. So, although having a sort-out through your wardrobe makes room for the latest fashion trends and the newest clothing lines, it is important to be mindful of where your clothes end up next. By either up-cycling, selling onto a friend or by giving your pre-loved clothes to a charity shop/a second-hand company, fashion can soon be made great again.

So, in the words of Rosi Mai: ‘I’m going to routle through my wardrobe and i’m going to find something to save!’.

(*source: Made in Chelsea, Season 20, Episode 6]

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