ABC’s War on Waste has highlighted an issue that is dear to every Australian’s heart, how much coffee we drink and how many cups we throw away. The amount is pretty shocking, for a country that loves our coffee we drink way too much. The TV show has done a great job getting people to take a minute and second guess what they are throwing out; coffee cups, plastic bags, and clothes. And drawing attention to our waste practices worked! It spawned an entire coffee cup revolution, with #BYOcup, using reusable coffee cups instead of take away cups. Going even further to encourage cafes to only serve coffee in customer’s reusable cups, completely cutting out any take away trash. Australia generates 6000 kgs of textile waste every 10 minutes, how can we get a campaign against textile waste that can be just as effective as #BYOcup?
“Buy less, choose well, make it last” has been Vivienne Westwood’s longstanding mantra, and an initiative that a lot of sustainable designers have adopted, quality over quantity. Something to consider when you shop. How long will the clothes last? A few years or a few washes?
Consumers have become used to paying cheap prices for cheap clothes and trying to reverse the psychology of having instant gratification and new clothes is an uphill battle for sustainable fashion. Unfortunately part of the process of buying better is an increase in price. However, the trend is reversing as customers want clothes that last, even if they have to pay more. This theory is proven with the success of Reformation, a sustainable retailer based out of California, starting price for their pieces are around $200. They have become forefront for fashionable sustainable clothes and their collections routinely sell out. Clothes that last is an increase in customer loyalty as being able to last means it is worth the purchase. That might mean that the $200 dress is not going to be an impulse purchase, but will mean so much more.
How do we campaign for buying less, but buying? With talks of minimalism and cutting down on excess bloggers and stylists are focusing on capsule collections of a few pieces, the basics to mix and match your style. The only way you can build a capsule wardrobe is using quality, investment pieces. A capsule collection can reduce the clutter of the wardrobe and your overwhelming options, because honestly no one wears everything in their closet. That is why every chic French girl has only a few staples. Cutting your wardrobe into a capsule collection can save you time in the morning and Instagram anxiety, because with any outfit you will be looking fabulous!
As ABC’s War on Waste continues to highlight key aspects of our shopping habits, there still needs to be more so much more focus on fashion and the price of our fast fashion addiction. How much we buy, how much we throw away, and how much we actually wear can change the way you view your closet and your habits.