“Normalize re-wearing”: Experts urge consumers to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment

Ms. Xingyun Shen, Country Coordinator of Fashion Revolution Singapore – a global group that advocates more transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry – suggested that people rethink how they want to treat their clothes.

What if clothes weren’t as cheap or readily available as they are now? She asked.

“How would we go shopping or buy ‘new’ clothes? The first place we’d probably look at our closets, ”she said, adding that people could also look at friends and family members’ closets.

“Can we borrow and swap clothes from our friends and family? Can we ask our seamstresses on site to repair a split seam or to adapt something to our body? “


Borrowing and swapping clothes is growing in popularity and becoming increasingly popular with consumers as they choose their fashion, said Carolyn Poon, sustainability director at the Textile and Fashion Federation, Singapore.

These clothing-buying alternatives make the linear fashion industry “take-make-dispose” more circular, she said.

“This is the most direct way that renting and trading help the environment. They extend the life of clothing that is already being produced and consumed, ”she said.

Style Theory, which offers customers subscription-based clothing rental plans, has more than 200,000 registered users, said its founder Raena Lim.

The company has made more than 2.3 million rentals and saved more than 600,000 popular designer clothes from “premature landfill,” she said.

Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the company, added Ms. Lim.

“We know that every year 60 percent of the clothing produced ends up in the landfill. With the rental model, we have shown that items are kept longer in the fashion ecosystem, which reduces the need for overproduction. “

An item is rented out an average of 30 times per person, and an item in a women’s wardrobe is used far less often, she said.

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