Outfit repeating – is it allowed? We’re constantly bombarded with influencers constantly promoting different styles. It can be difficult to remember that the majority of people don’t buy different outfits for every day.
Carbon footprint and outfit repeating
I was very, very into fashion when I was a teenager. Not only was this bad for my bank account, but I’m now aware that my attitude to buying clothes was questionable. I was afraid to engage in outfit repeating. This means I would therefore buy more clothes (mainly from fast fashion stores) and give my ‘old’ ones away. This was either to friends or to a charity shop. Over time, though, I’ve learnt that that was ridiculous because, news flash, EVERYBODY outfit repeats. It is not sustainable for the planet or your bank account to buy a new outfit for each new day. Luckily, I never went to that extreme, but my carbon fashion footprint certainly wasn’t small.
Social media’s impact on outfit repeating
Now, I’m not saying that social media was the only reason I used to buy so many clothes, but it certainly didn’t help. Being shown hundreds of trends a day it’s no wonder that I was sucked into buying clothing because it was on Instagram. However, I started to question if there were any ‘slow fashion’ Instagram pages. The sheer number of new items I was seeing became really overwhelming whenever I logged onto Instagram. Turns out, there’s an entire side of Instagram dedicated to slow fashion. I soon got really into thrifting to find unique pieces that articulated my sense of style. While I still bought a considerable amount from charity shops, I think that’s better than buying lots from fast fashion brands and getting rid of them pretty soon after.
Getting older, I started watching more YouTube rather than scrolling through Instagram. I learnt that lots of people were starting to invest in items that would last them years, rather than months. I bought my first proper coat that I wore to death for years, because it was good quality. It also went with pretty much everything in my wardrobe. Even though it was more expensive, I still own and wear that coat five years on. I think it was a worthwhile purchase. I started investing in pieces that would last me a longer time.
Social media contributes to harming our planet
Another reason I started buying longer-lasting pieces was the environmental impact I was aware my consumption was having. According to research “published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment… the fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year,” (Nicola Davis, The Guardian, April 2020). This, to me, is shocking. It really makes me think about how detrimental my fashion consumption is posing a real threat to our world. I always gave my pre-loved clothes away to charity, which I think others should do. Landfills are already full of items that could have been disposed of in other ways. I started looking into and purchasing sustainable items that would not only last me ages, but also ones that would help the planet rather than harm it.
It is fine to outfit repeat!
Overall, my journey through throw-away culture and fashion has been a long one. Nobody starts off knowing about the environmental and financial impact that buying tonnes of new clothes can bring.
I did a lot of research into sustainable fashion influencers so I could start making sustainable choices with my own wardrobe. It’s difficult to know where to start, but influencers such as Lucy Moon really helped me to start seeing the impact my small choices were having. I went from knowing nothing about fast fashion in my teenage years to now having a plethora of information under my belt.
I’d like to encourage you to start making more sustainable choices when it comes to fashion (if your circumstances allow it; I’m aware that sustainable fashion is more expensive due to it not being as mainstream or easily accessible as fast fashion).
Outfit repeating is absolutely allowed, by the way. Clothes, no matter where they’re from, should last you a long time and you shouldn’t be afraid to rock the same outfit over and over again.