The fashion industry is getting a bad rap recently with shocking stats like the following coming to light:
- "11 million items of clothing ending up in landfill each week"
- "Buying one white cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving 35 miles in a car."
- "The carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK each month, is greater than flying a plane around the world 900 times".
So Oxfam have decided to do something about it, and launched Second Hand September to encourage people not to buy for a whole month or only to buy second hand.
Now obviously men are not nearly as guilty as women at buying tons of clothes, and it's aimed at those who are buying things constantly and wearing them a handful of times before discarding them, but as a personal shopper it's something I feel a little responsible for and would like to address:
1) Personally, I was brought up with secondhand clothes as my mum had a dress agency so I both bought and sold things in there. And now when I buy new, I've always preferred to buy 1 thing I really love, rather than have 5 things I'm not that keen on and I very rarely have unworn things in my wardrobe.
2) From a professional point of view, when I take clients shopping, I try to make sure they're buying exactly what they need, they know that it suits them so they'll definitely wear it, and they know how to combine everything together from the list of outfits I write for them after a shopping trip.
3) And if we're doing a wardrobe edit, I explore ways we can salvage things or wear them in different ways.
That's what I'm going to share with you here - some of the tips I give and places I recommend to repair and rejuvenate garments so they can be worn for longer:
Here are some of the tools I frequently recommend, which will help you to look after your clothes so they last longer or bring them back to life:
Clothes shaver - to get rid of the pilling on your jumpers and coats and leave them looking like new
Belt hole maker - for when you put on or lose weight and need another hole in your belt
Hand held steamer - to freshen up your suits and tailoring in between wears and dry cleaning
Shoe cleaner - to give your shoes and trainers some TLC!
And if you need some more specific repair items - try these places:
MacCullouch & Wallis - if you need to repair or replace something this shop offers a large variety of useful items like belt buckles, zips, buttons and patches.
The Button Queen - replacing the buttons on a jacket can instantly refresh it and this place is a specialist in buttons including vintage buttons, toggles and clasps. They also offer button covering and dyeing.
DM Buttons - I recommended a client to go here to replace a button that had fallen off his cap, and they can also make covered buttons or replace eyelets, rivets (for jeans), and studs.
Or, if you'd rather have someone do the hard work for you, then here are some places you can take them:
Love Cashmere Care Service - I have to admit I haven't used this service myself yet but I saw an article that Simon Crompton wrote on Permanent Style about it and I thoroughly trust what he says. It's a cashmere repair service that you can send your jaded cashmere to, for them to remove stains, debobble, and repair small holes.
British Invisible Mending Service - These guys are the experts at repairing moth holes, rips and tears in wool coats and suits. It doesn't come cheap but if a moth has chomped it's way through your favourite coat when you pull it out this Autumn, or you've caught your suit trousers and ripped a hole in them, then before discarding them it's definitely worth seeing if they can help.
Savva Tailors - Got something in your wardrobe that you're not wearing because it's not a perfect fit? These are my go-to alterations guys who've altered hundreds of things for my clients. If you have a jacket that needs relining, some trousers that could do with tapering or a blazer that could do with some tweaking for a better fit then give them a call to see how they can help.
And if you're not in London, and would like to find an alterations person, I'd suggest asking for recommendations on a local forum.
The Restory - they will repair, recolour and generally restore your shoes and bags. They offer a pick up and return service worldwide - which is free in the UK. Send them a photo and details to get a quote.
Cromford Leather - A leather jacket is often a big purchase and understandably people are reluctant to throw them out but it's harder to find someone who works on leather. Enter the Cromford Leather company! Their repairs include replacing broken zips, shortening sleeve lengths, replacing ripped or torn panels, relining garments, and resizing and restyling.
Nudie jeans repairs - If you have a pair of Nudie jeans you can get them repaired for FREE for LIFE! What's not to like?
A charity shop will be most peoples first port of call for donation. They will also take things that are too worn out to sell and will appreciate it if you separate them into a bag labelled 'rags' or you could drop them into one of the recycling textile bins local to you. (Click here to find one in your area). Or here are some other options:
Suited and Booted - this is a great charity who help vulnerable, unemployed and low income men to get back into work by providing them with suitable interview clothing. The perfect place to donate your unwanted suits, shirts, ties and shoes. And what a great feeling, knowing that you're helping another man to massively improve his self esteem and chances of gaining employment by donating things that would otherwise sit unloved and going to waste in your wardrobe.
Wrap Up London - if you've pulled out your Autumn Winter stuff and found any coats you'll no longer wear - hang on them till November! Wrap Up London will be at various different underground stations from 7am - 11am from Monday 11th - Wednesday 13th November 2019. They'll pass on your coats to the homeless, refugees, children living in poverty and people fleeing domestic violence. Exact details of the locations here or alternatively you can arrange your own collection with your colleagues at work or at a club you belong to and drop off or send your haul to their HQ in Chiswick.
H&M, Marks & Spencer, Zara, and Levis all have recycling boxes in their stores. With some of them you receive vouchers towards new items, or M&S offer points on your Sparks card. The clothing doesn't have to be from their store.
Enjoy Second Hand September and reviving some of your the clothes you have. If you'd like some help deciding on what to do with them and putting together outfits from your existing wardrobe then contact me about a wardrobe edit below:
"You see things that just don't occur to me in terms of styling and putting things together which was really good."
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