Take the challenge to buy no new fashion this year.
At this point I'm sure we all know that the fashion industry is one of the top three polluters in the world and is one of the largest consumers of water on the planet. In 2015 alone, the fashion industry consumed enough water to fill 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools!
Fast fashion is particularly harsh on the environment where brands like Zara, Forever 21, and H&M produce an average of 52 new micro collections PER YEAR. Compounding this problem is the exploitation of people (mostly women of color) that make our garments. Most work under dangerous conditions without earning a living wage, both in and outside of the United States (yes, clothes that are "Made in the USA" can still be exploitative!).
New fashion's impact on the planet cannot be understated.
As we embark on a new year and reflect on the environmental and social travesties normalized in fashion, we want to do our part to affect meaningful change. We want to spread the word to collectively take action to protect the planet without sacrificing our style.
In response to the fashion industry's practices, one of many movements has gained momentum to combat the environmental toll. It is called #NoNewFashion. People are joining this grassroots effort because 1) they want to be part of the solution and, 2) they realize they can be stylish and fashion-forward without buying new clothes.
As a believer and advocate of buying used fashion, I invite you to take the challenge of #NoNewFashion this year. At LaliSimone, we believe no new clothes is fundamentally "fearless style." After all, style is about creative self-expression.
Here are some tips and ideas on making vintage or secondhand fashion modern and wildly stylish.
Where to buy
- Start local. Support small - visit your neighborhood vintage, resale, or consignment boutique where the owner has expertly curated collections of vintage or secondhand fashions. Buying from these boutiques not only gives you a style edge, but you also support a micro business. That is great for the community and the local economy! At LaliSimone, we carry used clothing from all decades that range in size and price.
- Online resellers - Choices for online resellers are abundant today. ThredUp, Poshmark, and Depop are top choices for popular brands with a growing collection of trendy and designer fashion. The RealReal is also a well-known reseller of luxury items. Ebay, Etsy, Grailed, Heroine, the list goes on and on!
- Clothing swaps - This is a personal favorite of mine when there isn't a raging pandemic. When we can safely return to group events, clothing swaps can work double duty. They're fun and usually free. Swaps hosted by friends or locals means you get to hang out, eat, drink, and explore fashion in a way that engages your creative fashion energy with the community. Some swaps require an entrance fee and they sometimes limit the number of items you can swap, but those rules are usually in place to make the grassroots effort manageable.
- Shop your closet. If you take inventory of all the goodies you have in your closet, you can probably put together several more outfits than you realized you had. Try various combinations of tops and bottoms that you haven't styled before. Or wear that fly outfit on repeat.
- Take the high-low road. My personal style mantra is to invest in outerwear, accessories, and shoes. I like to keep it simple when it comes to tops and bottoms. Take a t-shirt and pair it with any bottoms. Dress up your outfit with fancy pair of shoes or a nicer coat. You can take the opposite approach by wearing statement basics with understated outerwear and accessories.
- Dare to mix and match prints and colors. You'd be surprised how the most unpredictable prints or colors play well together for a look that takes the edge to a new level. Using basic color theory when dressing can really help you mix prints like an expert stylist.
- White shoes - I can't resist the contrast of a bright white shoe or sneaker against distinctly different color(s) of the garments. Conversely, a black shoe with a contrasting outfit can have the same effect.
- Sneakers - They are so versatile! Be as wildly daring or muted when it comes to kicks. They never fail to make statements regardless of how casual or dressed up your clothes are.
- Fast fashion brands - If you cannot give up your favorite fast fashion brands, buy those garments used. There's no shortage of never-worn fast fashion garments that people are ready to give up. You can find a ton of options through online resellers and secondhand stores.
- And, of course, makeup - I'm not much of a makeup person myself, but I always notice the effect of a bright lip or strong eye makeup. The results are game-changing!
One final thought...vintage clothing is made exceptionally well compared to fast fashion or your average new garment. My style theory and practice are to invest more of my hard-earned dollars into used quality outwear, jewelry, and shoes because I want them to last a lifetime.
And here's a feel-good stat for added motivation: Buying a used over a new garment reduce its carbon footprint by 60-70% (ThredUp). That's huge!
I hope you found some inspiration as you embark on the #NoNewFashion challenge this year and beyond!
Show us how you style your pre-loved or vintage fashion! Email a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in our next blog and social media channels. Or post your photo to your social and tag @lalisimone.
Let's do this!