Responsible Fashion

Written by Morgan Stevens |

As the new Fashion Editor of the Anchor, I come into the role with as much experience as anyone who simply enjoys buying and wearing clothes. Fashion is more than that and, as editor, I believe it is important to champion the industry as well as scrutinise its faults, both locally and globally. Anyone can have an interest in fashion, which affects everyone, without being obsessed with whatever’s new on the catwalk. We all have our own particular look and are proud of it. But it is important to be mindful of how we spend our money.

How many of the clothes you own come from a large brand? Primark, New Look, H&M. Cheap and affordable, they could make up most of your wardrobe. It’s easy to go into one of these shops on the high street and buy a bunch of stuff you’ve been after for ages, and that’s great, but is it a responsible way to shop?

Fast Fashion that’s produced on an enormous scale for the masses is ideal for most people and perfect for students. The amount you can buy for a humble price means that nine times out of ten it’s the obvious choice. Although, when payday eventually does trundle along, in whatever shape or form, there may be wiser ways to spend your money.

Picture Courtesy of Dreamstime

According to Wrap (the Waste and Resources Assessment Programme) £140 million-worth of clothing will be sent to a landfill site this year, and this figure is only expected to rise. It’s not a surprise that the environmental impacts of waste on this scale are massive. However, there are alternative choices available, with simple changes making a big difference. That’s not to say boycotting high street brands or starting protests in the street are the answer, but there is a certain amount of responsibility each of us have.

In the UK, the average lifespan of clothing is barely over three years, which is part of the problem. Looking into vintage clothing is a great solution to this, as well as frequenting charity shops. Not all clothes need to be brand new, some just need to be in good condition and look good. Good quality clothing should last longer than three years and great brands like Levi, Wrangler, or Adidas are in nearly every vintage shop around.

But if the idea of second-hand clothing really isn’t your cup of tea, then simply try looking into what you’re buying. There are loads of companies whose focus it is to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, such as Lucy and Yak, or People Tree. In the Southwest it isn’t hard to find great shops that sell either vintage or eco-friendly clothing. For starters, there’s The Real McCoy in Exeter, which creates both repurposed jackets, jeans, shirts; and there’s also the Falmouth-based House of Bean, which focuses on hemp textiles to make clothes.

There are also pop-up sales all over the country, and Falmouth has its next one on the 11th of May at the Princess Pavilion. These pop-up sales are a great excuse to explore other options to Fast Fashion. That doesn’t mean replacing all your clothes, but perhaps making an alternative choice once in a while instead.

It’s key for the fashion industry to be aware that using unsustainable materials in the quantity it does is detrimental to our planet

In the world we live in, it is more important than ever to be environmentally conscious, whether it be towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, reducing plastic consumption, or aiming to send less clothes to landfills each year. It’s key for the fashion industry to be aware that using unsustainable materials in the quantity it does is detrimental to our planet. However, it is equally important that the people wearing these clothes are aware of this too.