It’s not like it was in our parent’s day. Of the many things that have changed, our shopping habits are one of the most notable changes. Shoppers in Britain today buy an incredible five times as many clothes as shoppers in the 1980s did.
Well, low prices are one cause. You don’t have to go far on the high street to find dresses on sale for less than a tenner, or t-shirts that are less than five pounds. With so much choice and so little expense, the trend of throw-away fashion is well and truly in. Which is really bad news for textile workers who suffer from terrible working conditions, and bad for the environment too. It’s been claimed that textile production contributes more to climate change than aviation and shipping combined!
So what can be done?
Shop less and shop smarter is one answer. Finding clothes that cost a bit more, but that will last longer is a big plus. Do this especially for key pieces that you’ll come back to again and again as the basis of an outfit. Jeans don’t go out of fashion, so you can buy a pair that will last and last. Similarly, a white t-shirt, smart blazer, an A-line skirt – these are all fashion staples that make the foundation of many of our daily looks.
Shopping less and shopping smarter doesn’t mean that style has to be sacrificed. It’s all about how you combine the pieces you have. A statement scarf or belt can change the whole look of a piece and make it seem like a completely different outfit.
Having said that. you don’t have to stop shopping completely to be more environmentally aware. Shopping for second-hand clothes is another big plus. Charity shops can have some fantastic finds in them, but you can also opt for buying second-hand online through eBay, or the likes of ThredUp.
Other things you could do are to organise clothes swap parties with friends, or rent clothes you’ll only wear once for a special occasion like a wedding, or perhaps to upcycle old clothes you have into new pieces.