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SUSTAINABLE FASHION TIPS

With #sustainablefashion trending at the moment and more and more savvy shoppers turning to second hand and vintage clothes to fill out their wardrobes I’m offering you some top tips for shopping online and on the high street.

ONLINE
Indie vintage shops are popping up all over online market places such as Etsy, Depop and Ebay and with so many to choose from and each one with their own policies and style it stands to reason not all are created equal. So where to start?

  • Read the reviews
    Look out for consistent themes in the comments such as good customer service, quality products and how they handle it when things go wrong.
  • Know your rights as a consumer
    Take a moment to check their shop policies with regards to returns etc and when selling within the EU they should comply with Distance Selling Regulations.
  • Vintage sizes ALWAYS run small
    Make sure you familiarise yourself with your own measurements; this will make shopping online so much easier. Most good vendors take the time to list the actual measurements of their garments and for it to fit well you should always leave a good inch or two for movement. If there is any confusion ask the vendor for help before you buy.
    A good tip is to measure a similar garment you already own for comparison.
  • Check the condition
    Zoom in on photos to check the item closely, read the description for sizes and condition and manage your expectations on small flaws. Vendors are normally happy to help if you need more photos or reassurance.
  • Everyone loves a bargain
    When buying internationally you might end up paying customs and post office handling fees, which can eat into your budget. Check on your local post office and government website for more information about how much this is likely to cost.
    Bear in mind if you’re a student or strapped for cash you can try asking the shop owner for a discount. Making a polite and friendly request, explaining your situation can work wonders, and bear in mind some shops offer layaways on more expensive items. Always check out their social media feeds for sales, special offers and giveaways too.

HIGH STREET
Thrifting in charity shops and nosing through vintage stores can be a good stepping stone toward your sustainable wardrobe, not to mention give you a huge buzz when you find something special, especially if you nabbed yourself a bargain.

  • Check the condition
    As above, though this time you actually get to give it a proper once over. Pay special attention to known problem areas such as underarms, hems and cuffs; plus some of those retro patterns are really good at hiding marks that may or may not come out. Finally check all original buttons and fastenings are in place and the zipper still works.
  • Buy less, buy better
    Quality is the name of the game for long lasting clothes, and I’d always recommend sticking with natural fabrics like cotton, wool, silk and cashmere that stand the test of time, don’t hold onto horrid smells and wash and wear well.
    Designer and quality brands will usually have superior tailoring and almost always hold their value, making them an excellent addition to your staple wardrobe.
    Always buy the best you can afford, and give those cheap ‘disposable’ high street brands with their dodgy ethics a run for their money.
  • Slow fashion
    Making a conscious choice to reduce your consumption and waste can ultimately be worthwhile, but if you’re finding it to be a tough transition and can’t seem to wean yourself off those £2 t’s then buying vintage and second-hand clothes is a great start and can ease you into better habits.
    You can also show your current wardrobe some love by mending your damaged clothes and sprucing up others you can’t bear to part with by dying or adorning. And you don’t need to be a genius with the needle and thread either. Try the Japanese mending technique of ‘boro’, which makes a feature of reassuringly obvious patches and doesn’t require you to have the stitching technique of a couture dressmaker.

Wearing clothes that not only define you but are also environmentally friendly has never been easier.
Never mind the advantages of you very rarely having to turn up wearing the same thing as your friends, because you’ve bagged yourself a rare vintage gem.
What’s shinier than a sack full of brand new clothes you ask? Wearing that saving-the-planet-whilst-looking-fabulous glow, that’s what.