Without wanting to sound too much like a pantomime dame my only response to that statement is "Oh yes you can!"
Speaking of panto-dames, Widow Twankey is a perfect example of what sustainable fashion is all about - taking care of the clothes you have and creating a signature look. And, as a laundress I'm sure she knew exactly how to love and care for clothes. So, I hope you all had a merry Christmas and are enjoying the new year, now lets talk money.
Sustainable fashion isn't expensive hand-grown, hand-weaved, hand-sewn, hand-embroidered garments. Because, at its centre, sustainable fashion isn't about buying clothes, it's about taking care of what already exists on our planet and in your wardrobe. And - great news - not buying new clothes is a LOT cheaper than buying new clothes (by like, a mile).
Not only is it cheaper (hooray) it's pretty much absolutely FREE! Here's a breakdown of how it's done.
Washing. How many times have you shrunk, run the colours or otherwise mangled your favourite piece in the washing machine? You're more likely to keep wearing your clothes if you can still pull them over your head or if they aren't that nasty colour you go when you accidentally put them with the wrong colours. So, read that washing label and do it right! Use an eco-wash setting for extra points and Greta Thunberg will give you a medal in eco-heaven (also eco-washes are about 50% cheaper because they heat the water with less energy, which is why they take longer). £0.07 per cycle
Mending. What's the cost of a needle, thread and about 15 minutes to get the damn thing through that stupid fucking tiny hole? Barely a thing. If your favourite jumper has a hole in it, likelihood is you aren't wearing it. Not ideal, especially as it looks dead good on you. Plus, having visible mending is cool and trendy - it says "hey, I'm a slave to capitalism as much as the next guy, but after work I actually have time and energy to keep my life in order, plus I love the planet so I'm much better than you". That'll really rub it in Linda from reception's face. If you don't have a needle you can get one in poundland, easy. Or, borrow one from someone you know, your susty friend, thrifty mum or seamstress granny. If you live in Lancaster you're more than welcome to knock on my door and borrow one - I'll sew the thing for you. If the mend is too tricky to fix yourself, there are always local seamstresses that have the skill to fix it for a few quid. £0-1
Swapping. Your bestie is having a crisis after their recent breakup and is looking to reinvent themselves. While they're in the charity shop looking for a new style, their wardrobe is all yours. Now, I'm not saying to take advantage of people - but someone should benefit from all that misery. Your mate's been down the gym post-breakup to get strong so they can deck their ex - oh no, their gains are just too big and that pair of jeans you've had your eye on doesn't fit them anymore - cha ching. Get in on your pals clearing out their wardrobes, organise a swap with you friend that also wants to mix up their look, replace your siblings t-shirt with your old one. It's easy, it's free and it means nobody has to walk into town with a bin bag in the rain to make a donation to get rid of them. £0, maybe £7 to get a nice-ish bottle of wine on the way to console your mate
Theft. Just kidding. £0
Re-wearing. You don't need lots of clothes to be stylish. Style comes from repetition, not from variety. Make your signature pieces known, create a unique brand for yourself. "Oh y/n? They're the one who always wears those really fun jumpers with boot-cut jeans," they'll say behind your back, "They always look so put-together, I don't know how they do it." No more worrying at 8:45am what to wear to your 9am lecture, (oo someone's late) because you know exactly where your signature look is hanging in your wardrobe - after you washed it on Sunday according to the instructions ;) . £0
Ignoring the trends. They look shit anyway. Stick to what you know you like, and what you know you'll want to wear for years to come. Don't let the micro-trend of men's boxer shorts reel you in - you wont look like Bella Hadid, you will look like your little brother when he forgets to put trousers on in the morning. It's cheaper not to buy a synthetic orange floral halter top you'll hate in two weeks, trust me. Treat yourself to a trip to that new bakery in town instead - you deserve it after all that laundry and mending you've been doing today. £3, but only for cake
Happy 2023 susty gang. Don't buy new clothes, buy a nice slice of cake instead. Love yourself, love the planet, love your wardrobe.
Bye for now,