Thinking of taking the first steps to reduce your fashion footprint, but not sure where to begin? Here are some tech savvy options to help you on your way.
Nothing loosens the purse strings quite like an ongoing struggle to ‘stay on trend’ with fast fashion. In 2017 we spent just under 59.47 billion pounds on clothing, pretty mind boggling huh? And that’s not all - it’s estimated that a 10 billion pounds worth of clothing sits at the back of our wardrobes, unworn and unloved...oh go on, admit it, there’s at least one item in your closet that still has the price tag on?
But we’re slowly waking up to the impact of the fashion industry on people and the environment. With more and more organisations flying the flag for fair fashion, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to hide their dodgy doings. Reports such as Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index are helping to reveal the clothing companies who are baring all when it comes to their supply chains. Consumers are also becoming more canny in how they buy their clothes - whether it’s taking to the vintage shops, or recreating catwalk looks from charity shop finds.
So, if you thought that your love of fashion can’t be sustainable, think again. Alongside a number of useful life hacks to help you cut down on fashion waste and shop more ethically, there are a number of apps for your phone, or practical websites to help you along your way.
Clearing out the closet isn’t fun at the best of times, let alone when you then have to pile sacks of unwanted garments onto public transport and locate your nearest clothing bank (old socks and jeans spilling out all over the bus.) While clothing banks are a great way to reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfill, we all enjoy being rewarded for good behaviour.
Introducing this handy free app. ReGAIN rewards you for decluttering your wardrobe in return for discount vouchers at fashion retailers, hotels and even flights, so you can trade in your unloved clothing for something new, or perhaps even a holiday in the sun. Just box up a minimum of 10 items, find your nearest drop off point on the app’s interactive map, print off a shipping label and send the box of clothes for free. Each box dropped off will unlock a list of coupons for you to choose from. According to reGAIN’s website, fifty full trailers of used clothing heads to landfill sites every day, so get on board with their free recycling scheme and you’ll be helping to reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in the bin.
Good On You
Trying to shop in a mindful and ethical way can be incredibly overwhelming. Good On You is a free app that acknowledges this. Easily search for your favourite brands and the app will reveal the company’s ethical rating. Ratings are based on a retailer’s labour, environmental and animal standards and range from ‘we avoid’ to ‘great’. As well as a rating, the app gives a brief and comprehensible report on the brand’s practises, campaigns and any other useful information. If your favourite brand doesn’t score very high, you’ll be given a list of similar retailers who have a higher ethical rating. As an added bonus, you can find exclusive discounts from companies rated as ‘good’ or ‘great.’
Pushing for positive change, the app puts the power in your hands, inviting you to congratulate companies doing well and encouraging other brands to do better on issues that matter to you.
The Good Wardrobe
The Good Wardrobe is a practical website full of sewing knowledge, helping you to prolong the life of your wardrobe. The platform is all about affordable, sustainable style, creativity and promotion of local and ethical industries. Set up by self proclaimed shopaholic turned eco fashion advocate Zoe Robinson, Zoe is renovating the stuffy image of make-do and mend and championing brilliant design, excellent quality and style that still looks after people and the planet.
You’ll find loads of really useful resources on the site, from contacts for hiring sewing equipment, clothes, tailors, cobblers and sewing cafes, to swap sites and blogs on sustainable style. Stuck on how to darn socks, or want to find a great tailor? No problem. The Good Wardrobe has a forum where you can share knowledge and learn more about sustainable style.
Our fashion tastes can change fast, but how can we overhaul our wardrobe in a more ethical way? As well as new items, Depop has a massive selection of vintage clothes (currently 8,000 Depop shops are dedicated to vintage finds). Alternatively, you can also search for preloved items by using #nothingnew or searching for second hand sellers. The app makes it incredibly easy not just to buy items but also to sell unwanted clothes, simply register for an account, upload a snap of the garments you’re selling from your phone and set your price.
This huge online shopping community is packed with unusual items, vintage sellers, young entrepreneurs and creatives, so you can grab a piece which is completely unique to you. You’ll be set up with a profile and can view what your friends have liked or are selling, as well as being able to inspire your fashion pals all over the world with the items you have bought, liked or sell.
This free app is changing sustainable fashion’s image from drab to fab. A visual and voice activated search lets you discover the right product for you by presenting you with an assortment of matching items from sustainable, ethical and fair clothing companies from all over the world. Faer only shows you brands which are transparent about how and where their garments are produced and what fabrics and dyes they are using. Head to the ‘Fresh looks’ space for outfit inspiration, or keep your favourites in a wishlist for when you have a little extra pocket money to spend. Sustainable shopping has never been easier!
Ready, set, load
What are you waiting for? Get downloading and discover a number of fantastic ways to give your wardrobe a renewable revamp. If you’re still looking to do more, then read on for lots of fresh ways to start a fashion revolution.