Fashion is scrambling to meet the challenge of switching to renewables and investing in material innovation that is sustainable.
However, while these efforts are well-meaning, they are pitted against an industry that has already created an incredibly negative impact already. Currently, there are over 100 billion items of clothing – a conservative estimate – already incinerated or in landfills after just a few wears.
Today, most consumers are well adjusted to wear, break and chuck cycle. Campaigners are saying that one of the easiest ways of slashing fashion's impact is by buying less and by making the clothes we already own last longer.
Research shows that extending the life of an item of clothing by just nine months could drastically cut its environmental impact by up to 10 percent.
Sam Weir, founder of Lotte.V1, a one-on-one styling service, says,
"Many of us don't use what we own because we've been taught to find style solutions through consumption. Styling allows people to express themselves and have fun with clothing without buying new, to push creativity, and to truly wear their clothing. It's about learning to interact with fashion outside of consumption, and it's forming relationships with our things."
So the question being raised is, how can we be a little bit more sustainable with clothing when consumerism is at an all-time high?
The first thing you can do is to re-encounter your own wardrobe.
Take a couple of hours out of your week and go into your closet, address the pieces you haven't worn in months or more, and take your time styling things out. Pair a blouse you never wear with your favorite pair of jeans. Dress it up with small heels, or keep it casual and fun with sneakers. Wear a tank top with some ripped jeans, and throw a blazer on top that you swore you'd never wear again.
By styling, you've taken an item you've only worn in one setting and made it work for countless other situations. Through this process, old will become new again. It's as if you just went shopping, and yet, you're not spending money, and you're not leaving your wardrobe.