By Ella Thompson
Sustaining your style can be hard. Finding a look that is unique to you and continually adapting it to suit current fashion trends takes a toll on your time, wallet and the environment.
Sustaining your style can be easy. You can find a look that is unique, you don’t have to adapt to suit current fashion trends and its fun, cheap and sustainable.
Buying second-hand clothes is a great way to expand your wardrobe, look stylish and support a sustainable future.
Here are tips and tricks to creating your sustainable style.
1. Go op shopping
A good place to start building your sustainable wardrobe is at an Op Shop. There are great Op Shops in Australia, filled with treasures just waiting to be found.
A classic and favourite, Salvos has been selling second-hand goodies for decades. Their stores are adapting to the needs of modern sustainable shoppers, presenting second-hand items in clean and appealing shop displays. A great addition is their Street Boutique which showcases a range of designer labels for customers; you no longer have to spend hours searching for your Op Shop bargain!
Once you have done over Salvos, pop into Vinnies (which is usually next door) for more wardrobe wonders. Vinnies is a great place for special vintage pieces and unique trinkets. Try a Vinnies close to the city, that is usually where you will find special treasures.
2. Try online Op Shops
For some of us, good Op Shops are not just around the corner and we must venture further to find sustainable wardrobe pieces. Recognising the demand, there are now a number of online second-hand clothing stores.
Driven to make a change to the unsustainable fashion industry, The Closet has become Australia’s largest online Op Shop. Their online second-hand store has it all. Shop for clothes, accessories and shoes from your couch. Their website is easy to navigate, helping you find exactly what you want. Each item listed notes the brand, condition, size and photos.
The Re Club
Another great Australian online second-hand clothing store is The Re Club. Again, overwhelmed by the impact the fashion industry was having on the environment, The Re Club aims to change the way we shop. The Re Club is a great place to find some bargains but also an opportunity to be part of a sustainable fashion community. Join their club and earn points by donating your own clothes. Use these points to then purchase items from their online shop and add new things to your wardrobe. The Re Club supports changing styles and changing the fashion industry.
3. Donate your clothes
Everyone’s style changes and evolves, so what do you do when you need to change up your wardrobe? Donate! Part of having sustainable style is not letting your clothes go to landfill, but instead to another sustainable wardrobe.
Donate to your local op shop
You may have seen donation bins around town or out the front of your local Op Shop. Once a piece of clothing has reached the end of its time in your wardrobe, drop it off at one of the many donation sites so it can be sold on. When deciding whether to donate an item or not consider its quality. If an item has holes, stains or others defects it may be time to put it in the bin. When donating items, place them in a bin or in a store – don’t dump!
Sell your clothes
Another great way to contribute to sustainable fashion is selling your unwanted clothes. There are many ways to sell clothes these days, either in-person or online.
Garage sales are still popular and a good place to rehome clothes. A way to increase the number of sale items and have some fun, is doing a shared garage sale with friends. There are people who do this regularly, renting sites at local markets to capitalise on the ready-made crowds.
There is a huge customer base on Facebook Market place, another outlet to sell second-hand clothes. People can search for specific items, ask questions and buy second-hand goods on Facebook. There are also Facebook Groups for specific brands, items and more which is another platform that can be used to recycle clothes.
The Closet encourages customers to sell clothes through their business. Sellers get a percentage of the sale back in their own pocket, but don’t have to worry about marketing the products. Jump on their website, download a form to send with your clothes and let others do the work for you.
So there you have it, your guide to sustainable style.
Sustainability is fashionable, wear your second-hand clothes with pride. Being environmentally conscious about your fashion choices is important. Currently tonnes of clothes go to waste and landfill each year. Australian’s are consuming 60% more textiles than we did in 2000 but not keeping items as long.
At the moment, it is estimated only 10% of donated second-hand clothes are sold – lets increase that percentage! Your contribution may be small, but each small change will lead to a big difference.
Be stylish, be sustainable.