Our article today is a contribution by GenZ Eliza Dawn Victorio, penned as part of her AIESEC internship with Secondsguru. Majoring in Geography and minoring in Geoscience at National University of Singapore (NUS), Eliza is extremely passionate about the environment and sustainability. She also champions sustainable fashion and alternatives to single-use plastics.

In her free time, Eliza enjoys looking at various recipes to cook as well as to bake and sing! Here’s her take on how we can refresh our wardrobe without costing the earth. Follow her on Instagram @elizadawn and LinkedIn

Fashion is usually how a person expresses their individuality, and this aspect is important for many young adults now. However, let’s not forget that many facets of fashion can be detrimental to the environment. With the advent of fast fashion, clothes are increasingly accessible and more affordable than ever! This makes the daily task of dolling up much easier with a myriad of choices tailored to all ages. But, to all fashionistas out there, are you aware of the environmental impacts associated with ‘looking good’?

Fast fashion is the use of inexpensive clothing produced by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends in fashion, most commonly influenced by pop culture. It is coined to highlight the accessibility and the speed of the production of clothing. This leads to overwhelming water pollution and even pollution in the landfills. If we do not opt for alternatives to fast fashion, or even opt for more sustainable ways to consume and produce fashion, the degradation of the environment will only persist.

How can we do our part to not feed into the ails of fast fashion? Here are some alternatives that are not only sustainable, but also fun to do alone or with your group of friends!

1. Swapping

Have you tried swapping yet? Swapping in fashion, in its most literal sense, is the act of exchanging your own clothes for a set of clothes from a ‘swapping event’ or store. In Singapore, you can get a swapping plan in Swapaholic or The Fashion Pulpit. Both curate all clothing items before accepting them in order to maintain the standards of your everyday fashionista! Now, they do both online swaps and even the actual physical experience in a swap store.

You can even choose to follow Cloop on Instagram or Facebook, a ground-up group from the Zero-Waste Bootcamp #3 that collects, curates and circulates second-hand clothing through fashion swap events. Swapping is an extremely convenient way to declutter and refresh your wardrobe!

 

Cloop
Make the fashion industry circular by swapping instead of shopping.

2. Renting

Do you know you can rent clothes and accessories- shoes and even bags? Style Theory offers membership plans for you to have an ‘infinite wardrobe’. You can rent apparels and bags depending on the membership plan that you choose. They even do the laundry for you!

Have a bigger budget? Choose to rent from Mad Thread instead, where you can choose to rent from designer brands from all over the world.

Mad thread brands
Browse through the collection of high end brands available on Mad Thread to rent some premium pieces (Image Credit: Mad Thread)

3. Thrifting

Another alternative would be to thrift in physical stores, an option that many of us would prefer as we get to choose, touch, and even try out the clothes. Below are some locations where you can visit in Singapore to start thrifting!

Thrifting at Lucky Plaza

In the 6th level of Lucky Plaza, you would be able to find many thrift shops:

Thrift shopping Lucky Plaza
Many thrift stores to choose from at Lucky Plaza

Other Thrift Locations

Alternatively, you can also venture out of Lucky Plaza to thrift at the following locations or even online

Have unwanted clothes that you outgrew? Or you simply want to ‘spice up’ whatever you have? Consider donating them to the following or even reworking your current clothes to have a new and more curated design for yourself.

4. Donating

You can always choose to donate back or give back your apparels to H&M, Uniqlo, Levis clothes respectively, where they have their circular loop initiative, allowing consumers to return their clothes to be recycled. For other apparels not from these brands, you can donate them to various sites or organisations in Singapore. Some of which includes The Salvation Army, MINDS, certain thrift shops, and even shoes at Soles4Souls.

5. Reworking

Another alternative is a trendy one that has been gaining traction in social media, particularly TikTok.

Reworking clothes is a new way to switch up your wardrobe without spending any money and contributing to fast fashion. You can rework your clothes in any way and any style you want, just as long as you know how to sew. Don’t know how but willing to learn? Sign up for the next workshop with The fashion makerspace. Alternatively, here is a comprehensive list of where to repair clothes, bags, shoes and honestly, everything else in Singapore. Of course, you can choose to purchase from Instagram Shops like Vintagewknd which have a dedicated section to selling reworked apparels. Furthermore, there are many other individual-run Instagram shops like @grittyfabrics, @wrkunderway, @ubethelabel and more that rework and sell the clothes.

As the climate emergency persists, we have to choose to do our small individual efforts to ensure that we do not contribute to the worsening of the Earth’s situation. We can always start by choosing to improve a section of our daily life, like fashion, in order to slowly lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The alternative to fast fashion is always fun, and so take along your family and friends on this journey to sustainability with you!

– Eliza Dawn Victorio

Majoring in Geography and minoring in Geoscience at National University of Singapore (NUS), Eliza is extremely passionate about the environment and sustainability. She also champions sustainable fashion and alternatives to single-use plastics. In her free time, Eliza enjoys looking at various recipes to cook as well as to bake and sing!

Follow her on Instagram @elizadawn and Linkedin

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