As the season is changing, I automatically start thinking whether I have “anything to wear”. I mostly do, but if feel like something new, these days I usually go for something “old”. While waiting for new, sustainable materials to be available, I don’t personally want to contribute to creating many virgin materials. It’s a drop in the ocean, I know, but still.
People have always wanted to beautify themselves and clothes are a significant part of our style. Every now and then it’s nice to change; for a new season, special occasion or just to cheer us up. I know millions of women (and men) feel the same, and another woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure, they say.
Want it / Need it?
When it comes to clothing, everything we need already exists. Most of the things we want also already exist – probably sitting in someone else’s cupboard. Especially in a country like Finland, where we have four different seasons, wants and needs change. With the endless and improving possibilities of local and global online trade, buying preowned or swapping are becoming more and more popular, which adds to the selection available.
When I have a specific piece of clothing in mind, it’s likely I’ll find it pre-owned somewhere with little effort. At least in Finland, buying and selling pre-owned clothes works fine more often than not, and these marketplaces are seeing two-digit growth numbers.
Quality has resale value
My choice is just a personal sustainability effort, and I wish the best to all the wonderful brands we work with on commercializing our sustainable fibre. Some of them work very hard to change their material base.
I actually see the developing resale market an advantage for some brands, as it will highlight quality. A decades old classic coat, for example, (see my “Fall fashion choice” below) that’s still in mint condition, is high value and good for the brand. Fast fashion isn’t worth reselling.
In addition to making quality products, brands are increasingly accommodating the consumers’ willingness to wear items longer. Many are developing new business models out of swapping, repairing, borrowing and recycling. This will add to the brand loyalty of sustainable-minded people, the group of which is growing by the day.
You don’t have to take my word for it: the World Economic Forum recently published a study saying that in the US alone, preloved clothes will make up a third of our closets by 2033. I’m guessing the number for Europe will be even higher.
Stay sustained <3
My fall fashion choice?
They say it’s going to be a rainy one this year, so in poor weather I’m going to go with classics: a yellow Finnish Rukka raincoat and Finnish Nokian Footwear Hai wellies. These products that are still in production were launched in the 1950’s and 60’s. My dad has had the coat in his boat for 20+ years and gave it to me. The boots I have bought new, but with this kind of quality I will not need another pair in my lifetime.