Following COP26, we’re more aware than ever that we all have a role to play in fighting climate change and rethinking how we dress is one of a number of ways we can do this. This party season, environmental charity Hubbub, is challenging people to wear something they already have instead of buying something new. Why? Because the most sustainable outfit is the one already in your wardrobe
The UK’s addiction to fast fashion is damaging the planet. According to the Government’s Fixing Fashion Report, around 300,000 tonnes of used clothes are burned or buried in landfill each year in the UK. Like single-use plastics, clothing manufacturing is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution, and polyester, ubiquitous in cheap fast fashion, pumps out micro plastics when washed. These break down into smaller and smaller pieces and never actually disappear.
A recent survey by Censuswide, commissioned by Hubbub, found that 1 in 8 (over 7 million) adults plan to buy at least one new piece of clothing for this year’s party season – that’s £330.5 million on party season clothes alone. What’s more over 3 million admit they plan to buy online, sending at least one item back; that’s 12.3 million items of clothing expected to be returned. With the average of 4 pieces of clothing being bought and 2 pieces being sent back.
Sarah Divall from Hubbub explains; “Fashion is such an important part of so many of our lives but we can still look great without harming the planet. Buying something new shouldn’t be the default when there are so many gems hiding in wardrobes all across the UK. This festive season we’re asking people to get inventive by restyling something they already own to give last year’s fashion a new life.”
Emma Slade Edmondson, Slow Fashion Consultant says; “Much of my career has been focussed on hero-ing the value and beauty in existing textiles and clothing, and at this time of year which can sometimes (with all the parties and meetups and gifting) feel like it’s rooted in ‘excess’ – it’s all the more important to really lean into enjoying your own wardrobe. Personally, I love the exercise of digging into my wardrobe to find old gems and to create fun party season looks from my favourites. And in doing this that I’m reminded that I really don’t need ANOTHER new party outfit. Give it a go and I bet you’ll feel the same.”
Hubbub suggests four greener options this season:
- Rewear, restyle or upcycle an outfit you already own
- Borrow or swap with friends
- Rent from one of the great rental sites available like Loanhood, By Rotation, Hurr or others. Or chose peer to peer rentals and look for people nearby to rent from.
- Buy second-hand from a vintage shop, online reseller or a charity shop
- Join the movement post your outfits on social with the #ThanksItsLastYears
Hubbub’s recent survey also found 57 million little black dresses (LBDs) lingering in wardrobes waiting to be zhuzhed up for the party season. Which is why Hubbub is joining forces with fashion influencers to fight waste and pose the #LBDChallenge, providing simple tips and inspiration to encourage LBD owners across the UK to glam-up this sophisticated wardrobe staple and rethink their shopping plans. Go to Hubbub.org.uk or @helloHubbub on Insta for more info and inspiration.