Tag Archives: waste

  • You know it makes eco-sense

    March 5, 2011

    We are pleased that our first ever February eco-fashion challenge has helped raise awareness, albeit in a small way, of the benefits of wearing vintage, second hand and hand made clothing and accessories. Each and every participant demonstrated how great  looks can be achieved by mixing charity shop purchases, vintage finds and hand made or recycled fashion, and everyone had fun doing so.

    As well as attracting dedicated eco-fashionistas who needed no persuasion that it's the way to go, we also made a few new converts to the cause, including young people who had never previously considered eco-frocking. We also made some lovely new friends along the way. Result!

    We have previously blogged about the Preloved Reloved project which is the brainchild of Kim Sklinar, one of the new friends we met as a result of our challenge. She is raising money for charity by dressing exclusively in second hand clothes  for a year and is on our exact wavelength as far as eco-fashion goes. Being waste aware sorts ourselves, we especially enjoyed this recent post, Frugality vs Waste, and we wholeheartedly share her antipathy towards rampant consumerism and our wasteful throwaway society.

    Although eco-frockers like ourselves are rarely to be found in high street fashion outlets, just occasionally we take a stroll round a few of them when we are in town. So last week, with some time to while away before a dental appointment, we visited two such stores to see what is currently on offer in the world of fast fashion. First off, the sheer volume of identical garments in a factory sized space felt like an assault on the senses. Rails and rails of mass produced soulless sameness! On closer inspection, the quality of some of the pieces ranged from poor to appalling, but equally shocking was the price of some of them.

    Indeed the experience was almost as painful as the subsequent root canal treatment and we naturally left with nothing (without feeling remotely like the weakest link). Fortunately, we found welcome solace in the charity shop next to the dental surgery which offered up a fabulous military style coat dress, originally from Principles and in good as new condition. It will be having its first second hand outing with its new owner this weekend.

    Back to shop

  • What a waste

    January 25, 2011

    We must admit that the findings of a recent survey of consumers’ clothes hoarding habits, as reported in the Daily Mail, came as little surprise to us. We have, after all, been banging on about unworn wardrobe contents for years.

    Having founded our business to help give these hidden, hitherto unworn gems a new lease of life, we can honestly say there is nothing more satisfying than rehoming one woman’s (or man’s) expensive mistake with a new, appreciative owner who will love it and actually wear it.

    We all know the clothes shopping routine and, if we are honest, can identify with the all too familar result. What may once have seemed like a dress/coat/top/skirt to die for ends up languishing at the back of the wardrobe for one reason or another, and now we wouldn’t be seen dead in it!

    The latest research, conducted by the shopping channel QVC, just serves as a reminder of the extent of the ‘problem’ and highlights some scarily stark statistics.

    British women have wasted an astonishing £1.6 billion on clothes they never wear but refuse to throw out.

    If placed on a single rail, the 500million unworn items of clothing would stretch over 15,500 miles - that's four-and-a-half times the distance from London to New York.

    The average woman hoards 22 items that she will never wear, worth a total of £285.

    Over half have six or more tops that they would not be seen dead in, and a third have six or more unworn pairs of shoes.

    There is a geographical divide, with London ladies topping the wasters’ league with £302.29 worth of unworn clothes, followed closely by the Scots (£301.90) and the Northern Irish (£290.28). The Welsh are by far the canniest women with only £223.96 of unworn items lurking in each of their wardrobes.

    Men behave almost as badly, collectively wasting a staggering £1.2 billion on clothes they never wear. The average UK Joe has 19 unworn items of clothing, worth around £248, in the dark recesses of his closet.

    Excuses range from guilt at wasting money and "waiting" (not wanting?) to lose weight, to hoping the faux pas might actually come back into fashion “one day”. Oh dear!

    Sue Leeson from QVC says: “Finding out what you have already means that you can become a smart shopper and focus your wardrobe, buying key pieces that coordinate with each other properly.” Good advice, undoubtedly, but we also need to bear in mind which styles best flatter our body shape and which colours best suit us, all without breaking the bank.

    Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of Gok Wan, who has just returned  to Channel 4  with his clothes roadshow, promising to get us all shopping, swapping and dressing smarter, and proving you don’t need to spend a fortune to look fabulous.  So no more excuses!

    Back to shop

  • Landfill Fashion: what a waste

    April 21, 2008

    We are becoming increasingly fed up of living in a society which seems hell bent on creating ever greater mountains of unnecessary waste. From plastic bags in their billions to fast food packaging, cheap promotional items that no one wants or needs, and even shrink wrap covering for supermarket  cucumbers, we are drowning in the stuff.

    Textiles waste is a particular bugbear of ours. Did you know that in the UK alone, we throw out in excess of one million tonnes of textiles every year, most of which ends up in landfill sites?

    Far from being harmless holes in the ground where we can conveniently bury anything and everything we no longer want, landfill sites cause significant environmental damage. In the case of landfilled textiles, garment dyes and bleaches can cause toxic chemical seepage into the ground and water courses. As the material decomposes, the build up of methane gas presents further hazards.

    Although environnmental issues have been gradually nudging their way up the political agenda, there is no evidence that our throwaway society is ready to take responsibility for its wasteful behaviour. We need a sea change in attitude and, while there is some great work being done to reduce textiles waste through reuse and recycling, the clothing industry remains awash with cheap ‘fast’ fashion which is likely to end up in landfill in a matter of months if not weeks.

    So how can we as concerned individuals make a difference yet still stay stylish (and solvent!)? Well, we have put together a list of simple ‘RE’ ACTIONS  to the relentless pressures of the fast fashion industry, and we hope the following top ten tips on working towards a greener wardrobe will be useful for waste aware, eco-friendly fashionistas like ourselves.

    The Frockery's Top 10 eco-fashion ‘RE’ actions

    1.   RESIST temptation. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it! Your wardrobe is probably already bulging with impulse buys, many of which you have never worn, so you know it makes sense.

    2.   REJECT fast fashion outlets and cheap imports which have been transported halfway round the world, may have been produced by an exploited workforce, including child labour, in dangerous conditions, and will probably fall apart after one wash.

    3.   RETHINK your buying habits. Support ethical, fair trade businesses and ‘home grown’ designers.

    4.   REUSE clothing and accessories. Buy from vintage, second hand or charity shops, car boot sales and auction websites – or swap clothes with friends

    5.   REDISCOVER the back of your wardrobe and the darkest corners of your attic which may well harbour some long forgotten outfits that are yearning for a new lease of life.

    6.   RESTYLE your current wardrobe. Get the sewing box out, refashion a dress into a top and matching bag, add a few embellishments, chop off some sleeves, or just shorten a hemline or two.

    7.   REFRESH your ‘old’ clothes by adding belts, scarves and complementary accessories for an instant style update.

    8.   RECYCLE the clothing you no longer need. Drop it off at your local textile recycling bank, freecycle it, or else donate to charity.

    9.   RESELL your unwanted clothes on one of the internet auction sites or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, through a local or online dress agency.

    10. RESEARCH environmentally friendly fashion alternatives which combine style with sustainability. We recommend Kate Fletcher’s Lifetimes project as a great starting point for both information and inspiration.

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