Swishing, cutting down on fast fashion

So, I’ve been wondering, In the spirit of sustainability and cutting down on fast fashion. How are we going to add a bit of variety into our wardrobe when we don’t really want to be buying more new clothes.

In the late 80’s a friend of mine opened a dress agency in Liverpool city centre. Previously a Solicitor her idea was to provide dresses to hire for those formal events and occasions where you needed the kind of dress that you would probably only wear once. She’d experienced this through attending Law Society functions. It was a success for a while but with the rise of cheaper made clothes the business eventually closed.

Now with the talk of sustainable fashion and cutting down on fast fashion purchases it looks like clothing to hire/rent is a growing business. But we’re not talking about ball gowns here, it’s your everyday wear from high street to designer. These online sites are leading the way.

Hirestreetuk.com – Well known brands at great prices. Pick it, book it, return it, all by post.

Ourcloset.co.uk – Stocks a massive range of designers, for example a £350 dress rents at £33 for 4 days

In all honesty I can’t see it being something I’d do. But cutting down on buying new clothes is definitely possible. Since the #Secondhandseptember challenge I haven’t bought any new clothes myself, although my teenager bought me a jumper for my birthday, which I love! But if I’m not buying new or renting what’s an alternative?

Swishing: like shopping but free

Clothes swapping with friends, colleagues, neighbours and your local community.

clothes on a rail

I am in the process of helping organise a clothes swap event for our February WI meeting. Coinciding with Show the Love, which is the Women’s Institute climate change campaign.

How does it work…

1. Set a date and venue, attendees will bring good quality clothing to donate, set a maximum number of items a person can donate. Make exclusions… swimwear, underwear, nightwear etc.

2. Get everything you need, tables, rails, coat hangers & most importantly… helpers!

3. Plan: Check the donated clothes/accessories & get them ready. Maybe hang them in type & size order. If this was an event in your local community you could accept donations the day before, our collection will be early in the evening as members arrive.

4. How to shop: Give out a token for every item donated, bring 4 items get 4 tokens. Spend a token on any item you want.

5. Something extra: Have refreshments available and maybe some music playing. Add a fun fashion show wearing clothes you have that are second hand or vintage. Or pop on a coat or jacket from the donations.

6. After the event have a plan ready for any items left over, where are they going, who is taking them.

Statistics of fashion textiles going to landfill

Wether you rent, swish or swap, the aim is to repurpose clothes we have. Stop it going to landfill and cut down on buying fast fashion. Is this something you’ve considered?

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  • Oh this is a fab idea Lorraine – I really like it. I remember years ago I planned a clothes swap party at mine for some friends and it went down a storm. You’ve just given me the idea to do it again – thank you!