"Circularity" is a trending phrase for sustainable fashion activists. But, what does it mean?
The idea of keeping clothes in the system for as long as possible makes sense from a waste diversion standpoint. Because of the extreme amount of energy that goes into making apparel, both on the fabric end and on the sewing end, it feels painful to throw it all away after a year or two. That's where the idea of circularity comes into play. If we can envision fast fashion's cycle: grow, sew, wear, toss and compare it to sustainable fashion alternative: grow, sew, wear, share / repair / rewear, it becomes simple.
These are the steps that most people don't have time in their busy lives to consider. But if solution are made accessible, there's no reason to turn to landfill when it comes to getting rid of the excess in our closets.
Before even thinking about shopping or tossing (the beginning and end of the current fashion cycle) here are some ways to encourage a closed loop fashion system:
1 SHOP SECONDHAND
Start by swapping with friends or supporting local thrift or vintage shops. Not finding what you need? Try online shops: ThredUp, Depop, RealReal or Tradesy. And, we might have something brewing here at YesAnd, but we'll keep you guessing for now...
2 RENT YOUR THINGS
The range of rental options are growing, and while shipping might be a concern from an environmental end, organizations like Wardrobe use a local hub to drop off and pick up items, further reducing the carbon impact of each (re)wear.
3 MEND AND CARE FOR YOUR THINGS
The last year has even the clumsiest fashionista relearning how to sew on buttons. We have the power to maintain and mend our most loved items. With a simple google search and a needle and thread, we can keep our faves from hitting the landfill. Want inspo? Start with visible mending and darning to get the creative juices flowing. If you're not crafty, a great start is to wash your clothes LESS, at a cold temp, and hang to dry. It's easy on the planet and makes your favorite items last longer!
4 SHARE YOUR THINGS
The last time I went on a big getaway, I asked my good friend with the best vacation wardrobe for advice on where to shop. She said, "my closet." I borrowed about seven items from her summer Costa Rica wardrobe. Everything was new to me and felt special and I returned it a few days after we got back. Changed sizes? Share with friends! Lifestyle re-jig? Ask your friends! It's that easy.
5 RESELL YOUR THINGS
Ready to let go of something but clinging to it because of how much you paid for it? Recoup some of that investment by reselling it. Not only can you find joy in the cashflow, but knowing that it has a future use outside landfill feels pretty good, too. You can start with ThredUp or stay tuned here for more options on how to regenerate the YesAnd organic love!
How have you found ways to keep fashion in the system longer? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!