I swear they’re breeding. That when I leave the house for work each day, they get it on together and make lots of little fashion babies behind my back. It is the only explanation that makes sense because no sane person would buy all these skirts.

Except, of course, I did buy them.

I am a modern woman: I shop, therefore I am, although over the years I have adopted gentler euphemisms for that particular verb. I collected the skirts (like fallen apples!) I gathered them, so I told myself, conveniently sidestepping the “hunted” part of that phrase – way too brutal and weird, right? I amassed and acquired the skirts, perhaps even attracted them (they came to me; it wasn’t my fault).

It is a common affliction, this obsession with getting more clothes. A 2006 Cambridge University study found that women had four times as many clothes in their wardrobes than they had in 1980. I’m sure we have even more now. Walk-in closets the size of second bedrooms are no longer remarkable. YouTube’s haul-girl phenomenon, which sees the likes of American social media superstar Bethany Mota showing off her excessive purchases, attracts millions of likes. Indeed, Mota’s fan base is so enormous that last year she was granted a video interview with Barack Obama.

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STEPS TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE FASHION LIFE

1. Shop local

Supporting local producers helps communities thrive and stay unique. In general, the shorter the supply chain, the easier it is to map. And the nearer you are to the source of what you buy, the smaller the carbon cost of getting it to you.

2. Shop vintage

Reuse, repurpose, recycle. Buying pre-loved fashion saves it from landfill while also saving you that guilty conscience.

3. Support change-makers

Buy from brands striving to make sustainable the new normal. I like People Tree, which makes beautiful, affordable and sustainable fashion, luxury names such as Stella Jean, Edun and Maiyet, and the denim companies Nudie, Nobody and Tortoise. The Ethical Clothing Australia website lists accredited Aussie brands.

4. Read labels

We check food and cosmetics labels for unwanted nasties. It’s time we did the same with our clothes. Made in … where? And from what? If there’s not enough info provided, why not? Demand greater transparency.

5. Ask questions

Consumers have the power to hold brands accountable. Ask more of the brands you love, and tell them that you care about ethics and sustainability.

6. Go natural

Ban the obvious bad guys such as PVC, the production of which is highly toxic, and “wrinkle-free no-iron” fabrics, which often have been treated with formaldehyde. Choose organic cotton and vegetable-tanned leather. Research man-made fibres so you can decide which are best, whether it be recycled polyester or viscose manufactured in a closed-loop system.

7. Buy the best you can afford

The obvious way to reduce clothing waste is to stop buying fashion designed to be thrown away. Invest in beautiful pieces built to last. As Vivienne Westwood says, “Choose well, buy less.”
Read the article here: Daylilife.com

Written by Clare Press