Fashion + The Circular Economy

The Fashion Sphere of ‘Vinted’

With the turning of the New Year, it’s hard to resist the appetite to re-organise and re-stock our wardrobes. If you’re like me, then heading straight to the Google search box is the first call to action. It seems like the easy option, precise, direct and cuts the hassle.

However, with everyone advancing on the closet resolution how much clothing waste will we expect to see pile up before new season collections start materialising on the refreshed pages of fashion retail websites?

The answer is too much. Analysing the circular economy, WRAP UK estimated that £140 million worth of clothing is sent to landfill every year – so it’s time we start thinking smarter about the seams in our clothes.

“Clothes don’t have feelings. They won’t care about being donated – it’s about who you are now” says professional organiser, Sue Doyle. “Have clothes for the life you live now and streamline your wardrobe ethically.”

When stood in front of your wardrobe, it’s important to acknowledge when you bought an item, how many times you have worn it and how much do you love it? A simple way to start is turn ALL the hangers in your wardrobe around, over the next three months as you put clothes back in, put them back normally. After the three months, you will be able to see what you wear and what you don’t. Having less is liberating.

So, how do you stop your natural instinct to shop via the search bar whilst preventing a closet overflow?

One platform, Vinted. Fuelled by second-hand clothes, it was designed to entice shopaholics to view the circular economy through a green lens. Originally founded in 2008 by Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas as a way to help Mitkute clear out her wardrobe before a house move, it allowed consumers to make that transition from fast fashion to prolonged fashion.

“It’s a platform that opens all the closets in the world.

Milda Mitkute, 2018

Vinted is a podium where shoppers can maintain their natural instincts to turn to the search bar to purchase. Vinted showcase recycled, donated, and resold items whilst granting you access to create your own wardrobe sale for those pieces draped on turn around hangers. With an Instagram feel, the app allows you to create your own images and art direction to sell your items to the appropriate buyer.

Whale of a Time Clothing: Utilising Depop

We all love our labels and no matter where you lie on the high street to Old Bond Street scale, Vinted holds something for everyone. Having an anxiety for second-hand clothing is perfectly normal and buying new can often be an only desire. British, casual wear brand, Whale of a Time Clothing, are a label securing themselves firmly within the circular economy.

Designed and founded by young, fashion entrepreneur, Ellie Wales in 2015, the collections illustrated a step up in environmentally conscious clothing and were designed with the future in focus. “We aim to be as sustainable as possible” Ellie addresses. “Our packaging is plastic free, and all of our material is recycled, or manufactured with 100% organic cotton all made here in Britain.”

“We hate waste.”

Ellie Wales, 2021

Using a platform very similar to Vinted, Whale of a Time turned to Depop to retain sustainability and ensure waste is limited within the business. “We hate waste so alongside ensuring all our materials are safe and better for the environment, we set up our very own Depop page to sell all of our unused samples, or for any items that are slightly damaged or marked at a discounted price to ensure circular fashion is promoted.” By using a combination of tradition, innovation and science they have the ability to protect British ecosystems, workers from the farming industry, and also you as a customer. 

Whilst the pandemic has interfered with the way we purchase fashion, it has also given us some valuable life lessons about saving money and deciding what we want and what we need. Fashion shouldn’t be a needle within a haystack of environment factors, we need to consider options outside of the box and dive into the platforms allowing us to calm our wardrobe overload and continue the fashion’s circular timeline.

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