OXFAM - Every Little Helps

Having sumised that bringing clothing manufacture to the UK will not give us our big ‘eco-break’ – Where else can we tailor our behaviour for a more sustainable fashion culture?

A lot of people say ‘buy less’. I think the beauty of fashion is its quick turn over and the fun that can be had creating a bricolage of old vs new, pricey vs budget and really being playful with your appearnce. Whether it’s a good thing or not, we are a society of consumers and I don’t see this changing in the near future. In which case, we need to think about how we can have our new clothes without damaging the planet.


Over the years, I’ve discovered a variety of projects that aim to adress this problem. One of my favourites is NYC based story, The Uniform Project. Started by Sheena Matheiken in 2009, she pledged to wear the same little black dress for 365 days using only second hand or remade fashion to accessorise her look. The idea was to pose a question about sustainable fashion and also raise funds for a childrens charity in India. Aside from the obvious benefits of raising money for a worthy cause, Sheena gathered a large online following and proved to be a style inspiration for her audience. Using thift and second hand clothes to change your style, whislt keeping a few stable garments, struck me as one of many scenarios, which could help us reduce the amount of virgin materials we consume. www.theuniformproject.com


Could we be heading for a charity shop monopoly… Oxfam: ‘Every Little Helps’ springs to mind.

But how will the fashion industry survive if everyone brought second hand clothes? This is a thought that has been with me for some time. I would like to believe that an increase in thrift store buyers is a plausible scenario, where a healthy balance is struck between new and reused. It will not only bring back some sense of individuality (somewhat lost in this H&M era) but will re introduce personability and material worth to our wardrobes.

With the function of retail space changing, where the experience of shopping is far more important than the actual act of buying, it seems an opportune time for the fashion world to consider what they are selling, as much as how they are selling it. What Topshop stores have done with their Vintage and remade ranges already demonstrates that the industry can make a profit from being imaginative with their supply lines. Buyers ARE receptive to a new idea if you SELL it to them!

Sustainability Communications agency Futerra has some great ideas on how to 'sell' green


Posted on July 24, 2011 and filed under Uncategorized.