#LoveNotLandfill: Why vintage and pre-loved clothing is your answer to shopping more sustainably. By Lottie Jackson
Within an article for Man Repeller last week, fashion journalist Pandora Sykes spoke about bringing a newfound eco-consciousness into her sartorial choices. Whilst admitting she is still not immune to the “new in” sections, her latest rule is ‘if I see something new that I like, I have to see if I can find the vintage version of it first.’ Now surely this is something all consumers could introduce into their mind-set?
Interestingly, the piece (aptly titled ‘Shopping Vintage Could Make Your Whole Dang Outfit’) touches upon the position of fashion publications who have to reconcile their role of delivering ‘shoppable’ editorials with the awareness of the damage wrought by clothing manufacturing and fast fashion. She admits that her intention as a fashion journalist is now ‘to take things out of the retail cycle as much as I put things in, to inspire personal style interpretations … and to encourage the hunt for one’s own unique version of what I’m wearing.’ This progressive stance is also held by The Guardian’s fashion editor, Jess Cartner-Morley who recently declared ‘I’m going to change what I wear and what I write about’; she has since redefined her renowned ‘What I Wore This Week’ column by including old favourites from her wardrobe and discoveries from vintage stores.
Potentially, this move comes as response to the report by MPs into the environmental impact of Fast Fashion. The government study revealed that ‘three in five garments end in landfill or incinerators within a year’ and ‘half a million tonnes of microfibres a year enter the ocean’; it also concluded that ‘doing nothing is not an option.’ It seems many have taken note, turning their gaze from fast fashion retailers towards the vintage and pre-loved market.
Similarly, a recent eco fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill aimed to introduce fast fashion consumers to the joys of vintage and second-hand clothing. The project, which was launched at a pop-up boutique on Brick Lane earlier this month, showcased second-hand clothes specially curated by fashion influencers- alongside a series of creative workshops designed to teach mending and upcycling skills to fashion-conscious consumers.
Ultimately the campaign, co-funded by the EU and London Waste And Recycling Board (LWARB), aims to encourage fast fashion enthusiasts to either swap, recycle, give to charity or buy second-hand in a bid to reduce the vast amount (11 million items) of clothing which goes into landfill each week.
This weekend Fashion Roundtable hosted an event at The Festival of Sustainable Fashion to discuss fashion waste and the viable options to counteract its polluting impact. While Rafaella de Freitas covered the local, national and international governmental policies to combat waste, Jodi Muter-Hamilton offered tech solutions which could aid transparency and thereby reducing the cost and excess of overconsumption. Also speaking during the event, JJ Hudson aka Noki said: ‘the fast fashion brand is creating weapons of mass production, Brandalism is a solution. My practice as a solo customiser selling a custom built collection could be classed as a micro footprint in sustainability to create for a consumer.’