Playing the style stakes is always tricky when you’re not sure whether some of what you’re hearing is even worth listening to. Some fashion and styling advice from only a short time ago is now proven to be totally wrong! You don’t hear this advice so much these days, but it was only a short time ago that stylists the globe over were spruiking the worst fashion advice ever.
It went like this. “Girls, and guys, here is one bit of advice you can’t do without! (We all should stop listening right there.) If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing for 2 years, throw it out.”
Well perhaps some Save the Planet enthusiasts (aren’t we all?) didn’t fall for this one. But many did. Long before Marie Kondo hit the million-view mark on Youtube, fashionistas were being advised to get rid of anything they hadn’t worn over 2 seasons. The real reason, we suspect, was simply to keep us all shopping and keeping the retail industry ticking over. Don’t get us wrong, we love shopping as much as the next person. It’s the advice, we’re railing against.
It’s the kind of thinking that led us away from saving our best clothes to be worn to church on a Sunday, our “Sunday best”, to be changing our outfits as fast as we can change our minds. And since hardly anyone is rocking up to church these days, apart from the huge crowds at Hillsong in Sydney, it seemed that saving our outfits for best meant they were never going to be worn unless we started wearing them every day.
And what goes with it? Waste, of course. So – Much – Waste.
When reality hit and books and documentaries started hitting the ground about how much our clothing waste contributes to landfill, and how the fashion industry is the worlds biggest or second biggest polluter, none of us could ignore the facts. Many of us stopped, or slowed down our individual rates of churn. And while this is not true for everyone, what is true is that almost everyone is now thinking about it at least.
Thrifted items used to be ONLY for people on a budget. No longer. Vintage used to be for those with quirky or more “eccentric” tastes. Vintage is no longer merely quirky. It’s a thing. Huge, in fact. Thankfully, not only have we curbed what we throw out, we are a lot more careful about how we throw.
Recycling, upcycling and repurposing are now key. Exquisite high-end or high-brow vintage pieces are swooned over. Unusual pieces or just plain comfy ones from previous year’s are valued. And while mass-produced fashion pieces are still popular, they’re hardly considered collectors’ pieces. They’re more often thought of as “disposable”. Neither do they sell like they used to, with larger fashion chains currently suffering a decline.
If anyone tries that line on you, we recommend that you serve it right back up to them. Along with a solid piece of environmental advice: “Good planets are hard to find.”
Interested to find out more about sustainable Australian fashion labels? Tap here.