It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is fast approaching and no doubt all of us will have lots of presents to buy for our loved ones, and if not, you could treat yourself to something! However, there is a darker side of fashion and beauty at christmas. A catastrophic 11 million items are binned each week in the UK alone, the waste that this causes is environmentally damaging and dangerous to wildlife too. Moreover, 3-10% of carbon emissions globally are from the transport of fashion- so as a sector, a lot of damage is being caused! Furthermore, the sustainability of a lot of these ‘fast-fashion’ brands is appalling and therefore creates more detriment to our environment. If you are buying clothes for someone at christmas, here are some ways to make them much more environmentally friendly!
The best way (in my opinion) of saving money and being sustainable when looking for clothes is always: Charity Shops! I know that when you think of charity shops, high fashion clothes are never the first thought and probably not even the second, but you can always make anything fashionable, and moreover, if you like it, then who cares if it doesn’t fit in with what other people like! There are so many good charity shops out there- my favourite here in Durham is Scope, I’ve picked up multiple good clothing items in there for basically no money at all. One of my favourite clothing items is a little burgundy dress that I got in there for £3.20! They also do student discounts which again is always a win in my eyes! Just because the clothing is pre-loved doesn’t mean it has to stopped being loved forever and charity shops are a cheap, easy and fun way to give someone fun new additions to their wardrobe at christmas!
In the vein of pre-loved fashion, going Vintage is always a good option! Around the country (and Durham) there are shops everywhere that specialise in vintage clothing, in loads of different styles. The 80s are always in, with their big jumpers and bright colours but there is truly vintage fashion for everyone- from the James Dean & the Marilyn Monroe’s in your life to the Springsteens & the Madonnas! Circle Vintage in Durham is always a good place to look- there are multiple floors all with pre-loved fashion and little nick nacks that would make perfect presents for everyone! Independent vintage shops are always fun at christmas as well, you know that you’re helping to actually fund someone else’s christmas and your money isn’t going to a big corporation, that might not make you feel nice but it does for me!
There are also the online vintage shops: depop and vinted to name a couple! You buy from independent sellers here and they usually sell pretty much everything on there. Sometimes there’s some technology on there too so not just fashion, but predominantly they do sell clothes. I have also sold a couple of things on depop too so after christmas, if you’ve got some new clothes and you want to make room, this is always a fun way to make money and make sure your clothes go to a nice new home!
But, if recycled clothing isn’t your thing then don’t let that stop you from loving some sustainable fashion! There are lots of brands that now make sure they are as sustainable as they can be! One excellent example of this is the brand NA-KD. They have so many things in their arsenal when it comes to being environmentally friendly! They offer free climate compensation on all shipping and returns, their shipping bags are 100% recycled, all tender items such as earrings are wrapped in paper, made partially with fast-growing grass and most amazingly they add a biodegradable organic polymer to speed up the breakdown of plastic! This is only a small list of how they are being environmentally conscious and I personally find it so interesting to read so just click on NA-KD and I’ve linked the information there! Another brand that is trying to be environmentally conscious is Ninety-percent. All of their garments are made in two industry leading environmentally conscious factories in Bangladesh (more info here!) and their clothes are made with sustainable materials. Their clothes are all so lovely and are better for the environment so it’s a big win! The high street shop Zara are also taking big leaps to ensure that they’re as environmentally friendly as they can. By 2022 they are aiming to make 50% of their products part of their Join Life range. This is a line of clothing that is made using raw materials and a process that has less of an impact on climate change. Furthermore, they have all recycled packaging (even including hangers and alarms!) Their big pledge is by 2025 all of their products will be made out of sustainable materials and textiles. All of these companies have great products, and don’t make us feel guilty because they are also good for the planet!
Christmas is a time for such wastage but let’s try and limit that! I encourage all of you to buy second hand or from sustainable brands if you’re buying people clothes for christmas or even if you’re just treating yourself!