I love fashion, and I love the world of fashion blogging. I love seeing how my favourite influencers are wearing new pieces, and I love seeing people get creative with styling and photography. But I always feel a bit unsure when I see how many garments people repurchase every year, or even every season!
While I’m totally on board with the idea of using fashion as a way to express yourself, my wariness of fast fashion means that I don’t love the idea of buying the same thing again and again, just because it’s a different cut or colour. That approach to clothes shopping has such a detrimental effect on both the environment and the people manufacturing our garments, and we really need to start changing the conversation about it. Instead of seeing posts about all the new options in any given season, I would SO love it if fashion bloggers and instagrammers started highlighting the items that they’ve been loving year-in, year-out. Fashion Revolution have been sharing some really interesting stories about this concept recently!
In today’s post, I want to share with you 5 garments that we’re told we should repurchase seasonally by the fashion industry, but don’t actually need to.
I think this might be one of the most common ones – there are so many new coats out on the market every AW season. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we absolutely do not need to buy a new coat every year. In fact, a well-thought-out purchase can last us decades. My winter duffle coat in these photos, for instance, is from 2013. I look after it well, and every so often I have to have a seam or two mended, but it’s currently my only winter coat and it’s going strong.
I am on the lookout for a second, more neutral coat, as this one does clash quite badly with some of my clothes. My faux leather jacket, which I used to wear in those situations, gave up the ghost last Autumn – I’d been wearing it since 2011. However, I’m going to go for a secondhand option, and am giving myself plenty of time to find the right style so that it can last me an equally long time. We don’t need a new coat every year – one statement coat and one more neutral, easy-to-wear one is really all that’s needed for winter outerwear.
Who has WAY too many shoes? Yeah, me too. I’m slowly getting better at this one, but it hasn’t been a straightforward journey. When you’re young, you end up getting new shoes every season, since your feet are growing all the time. That habit can be kind of hard to break, but we absolutely do not need a new pair of winter boots, a new pair of sandals, and a new pair of trainers every year. Instead, think about what pairs you actually wear, and what you wear them for. Then, only buy a new pair when you need to replace one that is damaged or worn out. For instance, I have a few pairs of trainers, all in different styles, ankle boots for winter, two pairs of work shoes, and two pairs of sandals. I know that I wear all of these regularly (in the relevant seasons, at least), so it’s about the right amount. The rule I’m trying to stick to is to only buy a new pair if one of the existing ones becomes unwearable.
Here’s another example of a big money-maker for fast fashion! We’re made to feel like we need to buy a new bikini every year, and, if we’re going on holiday, a different one for each day that we’re away. Does that really sound sensible? Instead of overwhelming yourself with lots of variations of a garment that, lets face it, gets comparatively little use, go with one or two that you really love and enjoy wearing. There are tonnes of eco-friendly swimwear options available these days, including some made from recycled ocean plastic!
4. Christmas Jumpers (and other seasonal novelty garments)
Ooh, controversial. Here’s my perspective: I LOVE a good item of novelty clothing. Jumpers for Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter, Halloween… if there’s a theme, I’m all in. But this definitely isn’t something that needs to be repurchased every year. I’ve been wearing the same Christmas jumper for the last three years, and since it only gets two or three days of wear a year, I’m expecting it to last me quite some time. My top recommendation for getting the most out of this type of clothing is to store it properly. Keeping them boxed up safely throughout the year until you need them ensures they’re protected and don’t suffer from unnecessary wear and tear in your wardrobe throughout the year!
5. Everything Else
A sneaky addition, I know, but here’s the bottom line: there is absolutely no single item of clothing that you should need to buy new every single season. With the exception of maybe tights, that is, although I’m trying to research some sustainable and long-lasting versions of those, too! Yes, clothes wear out and need to be replaced, and we all love a bit of retail therapy – and that’s absolutely fine. But we need to be aware that we don’t need a new coat, or new winter shoes, or a new pair of jeans every three months. That feeling of urgency, the talk of ‘refreshing’ our wardrobes every few months as if they somehow grow stale, it’s all manufactured by the fast fashion industry, and you don’t have to buy into it. Instead, focus on choosing garments that you enjoy wearing, that work with the clothes you already have, and that you can see yourself still loving several years down the line. You’ll end up with a more sustainable and enjoyable wardrobe that way, promise!