Earlier this week I went to what’s called the “Happy Market” in my university. It’s an annual event held by the environmental society where students can sell unwanted clothes, last time I found some gems there as seen in my sustainable fashion haul so this time was no different. I decided to style one dress three looks to show that you don’t need lots of new clothes; just a few reliable staples.
The impact fast fashion has on the environment is horrifying; the average amount of water a single person drinks a year is what it takes to make one cotton shirt, making one pair of jeans creates the same amount of CO2 as driving 80 miles, and the microfibers that come of synthetic clothing in the washing machine, which is most clothing as polyester is very popular, accounts for approximately 35% of the plastic in the ocean. Secondhand, and sustainable fashion brands, means that we’re not contributing to the water use and emissions released. Before purchasing something new, have a look at markets, Depop, charity shops, and vintage stores – you’ll be amazed at what you find. When you no longer want an item of clothing, make sure to donate it, sell it, or upcycle. Right now, what everyone should do is invest in products like the Guppy Bag (not sponsored, just too important not to share) which catches the microfibers in the washing machine so they don’t end up as more plastic pollution in the sea. Fast fashion also doesn’t just add to plastic pollution, the emissions from production and delivery also add to our rising CO2 levels causing global warming and ecological breakdown.
The climate has changed, the climate crisis is beginning now, an outfit isn’t worth an uninhabitable planet.
Without further ado, here’s how I can style a dress, which only cost me €3, three different ways:
One Dress Three Looks
The Standard Look
This dress came with it’s own fabric belt, which I wasn’t a fan of, so I used one of my own, and pulled up the top a bit making it loser and the top and shorter at the bottom. The easiest way to wear this is literally just how it was designed and it makes a comfy everyday look.
The Summer Look
I saw this idea on Pinterest, and it’s a great way to find a new use for large or men’s shirts easily found in charity shops, I decided to see if it worked with the dress and it did! I added a belt from an old faux leather jacket to hide where I tied the sleeves, and the kimono to cover the back as it looked a bit messy. An easy stylish summer outfit!
Pinterest is an amazing place to get outfit inspiration, and from looking through tags that represent my style I’ve been wearing clothes I haven’t wore in a long time!
The Winter Look
I adore my summer wardrobe as it’s very bohemian, and makes me feel more free, confident, and the most like myself. My winter wardrobe, and clothes for the seasons in between – so most of the year – is primarily jumpers and jeans which makes me feel meh. I experimented a bit this winter, and often wore a variation of this look with a boho purple dress I have that’s a similar shape.
The idea of slow fashion is to get long-lasting timeless pieces, whereas fast-fashion follows immediate trends, is poor quality, and usually gets worn once or twice. Having several different ways to style an outfit, means having less of a divide between seasons in your wardrobe, but also means that you don’t need to buy excess clothing, so you have what you need but can still rock different variations of outfits and looks.
Supporting sustainable fashion doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your style and looking good, I’ve found some beautiful secondhand pieces in charity shops and on Depop.
What do you think of one dress three looks, do you have anything you could work this with? If not, you might be interested in ways to upcycle old clothes into a new outfit.
Check out this video I made on sustainable fashion if you want to learn more about the benefits of secondhand shopping: