The Proper Label

Why we don't support the throwaway culture

By Sonia Tanoh
Everyone knows about the damaging effects of the fashion industry on the environment. Aside from the water usage and dye pollution, energy intensive methods, and transportation pollution, the real problem is what happens when we’ve finished. The rise of throwaway culture has meant we are buying more and keeping less. The average garment is worn just 7 times before being thrown out, meaning roughly 140 million clothes go into landfill each year. Charity shops are receiving less clothes donations and sales as fast fashion companies dominate the market with never-ending sales, and our Insta feeds demand new looks every day. The throwaway cycle needs to be broken if fashion is ever to become sustainable, so we’re giving you some tips and encouragement to recycle instead of throwaway:

1.Charity Shops Have Hidden Gems

The best kept secret in fashion is that charity shops are actually pretty stylish. Granted, you might need to travel to a wealthy area to get the best picks, but many people throw away perfectly good garments simply because they don’t fit - so get the misconceptions of shapeless, bobbled old jumpers out of your head. Many of London’s fashion crowd wander the racks of Boutique in Kings Cross and Cancer Research’s premium boutique in Mayfair, picking up discounted designer and vintage classics for a charitable donation.

2.Passing Down Creates Memories

You Not just reserved for statement jewelry, passing down garments between family members is not only better for the environment but it can give you some of the best vintage pieces to help you build a long lasting wardrobe, and also remind you of your loved ones when you wear it. It’s nothing new for families to raid each other's wardrobes and share key pieces, but the idea of borrowing clothes instead of buying your own is definitely more sustainable and a way of reducing fast fashion throwaway culture.

3.Swapping Wardrobes Is Genius

It’s more than likely you’ve seen your friend wearing something pretty and considered ‘borrowing’ it and never returning. To them, it could just be their old leather jacket- but to you, it’s a new statement piece in your wardrobe - and you’ve already planned the subsequent outfits in your head. The new trend is hosting a girls night and each bringing a few things you no longer want, and then swapping them out for new things from your eachother. Everyone’s happy, including the environment.

4.Rental Platforms are Taking Over

A form of recycling, platforms like HireStreet and Rent the Runway are allowing customers to borrow clothes for specific events and then return them to be worn again. Not only do you not have to buy an expensive dress to be worn once and chucked in the back of your wardrobe, it relieves the strain on the environment - and you can even sign up to a subscription service for new clothes on the regular. What else could you wish for?

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An Article written by Katie Robinson

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