Alternative Ways of Enjoying Fashion
It’s really discouraging to keep reading news about the pandemic, social restrictions and the economic downturn. This post is not a radical viewpoint against consumerism. The main point is to celebrate our power to decide which brands to support and how we want fashion to move forward.
I actually wrote about questioning our shopping habits before in a couple of blog posts: Less is More, published in November 2019, and Are We Getting Tired of Shopping? in November 2018. Autumn is the ideal season reconsider our old ways and letting go of what no longer serves a purpose.
Lockdown and social restriction measures are a challenging experience for us all, the pleasure of going shopping with friends was replaced by anxiety. We are dealing with an invisible enemy with substantial tangible effects on our lifestyle.
The rise of unemployment and the possibility of being made redundant are quite straightforward, many people don’t have a choice but to adopt a survival mode, limiting their shopping to bare essentials.
Others continue enjoying a comfortable financial position and therefore don’t need to minimise their shopping behaviour, but now they go online, from the safety of their own home.
E-commerce platforms are thriving and most people are buying activewear and luxury athleisure, appropriate for our currently predominant lifestyle of working from home. Let’s face it, given the situation, we could even be in our pyjamas all day.
Sales figures do point in that direction, of comfort over fashion, but if this is where you’re going, think again. One of my Instagram reposts, featuring Sienna Miller wearing a black Gucci dress on a red carpet event, was one of the most popular of all time, influencers continue to dress up while renowned fashion editors post photos of themselves all dressed up wishing to go out…
There’s an obvious nostalgia about fashion and special occasions to dress up to, that could also be seen as a way of rebelling against all the current gloom and doom. Rental businesses are actually booming during the pandemic, which are characterised by a curated selection of fashionable pieces.
“Fast fashion is the space we are disrupting with our affordable price points so people of all socio-economic backgrounds can share higher-quality items. We want people to buy less, buy better and share more.” Eshita Kabra-Davies, By Rotation founder
Other successful rental businesses focused on luxury goods are Hurr and My Wardrobe, both of them have been receiving quite a lot of media coverage lately, and registered a considerable economic growth over the past few months.
Circular fashion is the foundation of other e-commerce platforms attracting the new generation, such as Depop and Vinted, focused on secondhand sales. And I also have to mention Staiy, where only sustainable brands are available.
Fashion and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Sustainable fashion is actually the driving force behind the profitability of all these new business models, and it’s predicted to become even more so in the future.
Tom Ford video shared by Livia Firth
I definitely share Tom Ford’s position and am developing a new sustainable fashion business based on these values and circular fashion. Fashion sustainability is definitely the way forward.
“Recent shifts in buying behaviour mean brands are having to adapt to a new world of conscious consumerism, where customers demand sustainability and supply chain transparency with each transaction.” Chris Syokel-Walker, The Times
The Times has just published a Fashion Economy report, identifying what people really want from sustainable clothing, and these are the top three criteria:
No hazardous chemicals used/pollution-free in production process
Ethical and fair trade/labour practice
We can look at the current situation as deeply unsettling due to our inability to predict the future ahead. Nonetheless, it may be a good time to refrain from logical conclusions altogether.
There are moments when we need to take a few steps back in order to move forward. If we could come out at the other end with a thoroughly sustainable fashion industry, wouldn’t it be worth it?