Fashion for years – The conscious wardrobe.

By Elsie Mutsaka

When people think of fashion they more often than conjure up images of glamorous and expensive labels, shopping sprees and staying on trend. This gave rise to fast fashion, which is cheap and trendy fashion made in high volumes to meet demand. Although for some it simply means a well-stocked closet, to the environment it means more waste from excess production. The growth in awareness of the state of the environment and the crucial need to play a part in being a good steward gave birth to the concept of sustainable fashion.

Sustainable fashion is a movement aimed at fostering change in the fashion industry towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. It deals with interdependent social, cultural, ecological and financial systems.This is a movement that we can all take part in depending on our relation to the industry as producers or consumers.

When you buy an item of clothing for a special occasion do you ever consider what will happen to it after its single wear? If you’re the average person these clothes stay hidden at the back of the closet and eventually find themselves in a dump somewhere. Adopting a sustainable fashion mindset would mean when an item of clothing is no longer desired you would ensure that it is handed to a charity shop, given away to someone who has a use for it, swapped for another item or sold to prolong its active life. I have lived by this philosophy for years and thrifting has become so natural to me.

The general practice over the years has been to go to a charity shop or the second hand market to find pieces. However, the digital age has made everything a lot more accessible saving us both time and energy. This development helped birth the concept of my online thrift store in Zimbabwe. This is a platform that offers site visitors an opportunity to shop for thrift items in the comfort of their homes and have them delivered. It also gives access to people who love vintage items or pre-loved clothing but aren’t familiar with physical establishments a platform to buy from. The online community is big and so access to resources including sustainable fashion is also a necessity. This platform not only gives access to items but gives people the chance to be part of the sustainable fashion movement because the clothes are passed down for maximum wear.

What makes the thrifting culture unique is the ability to find unique pieces. Unlike big retail stores that usually have one style in different sizes and large quantities. For some, it is a way of accessing designer clothing or accessories at a more affordable price and relatively good condition. Thrifting also allows individuals to understand their fashion sense and lean more towards the timeless style as opposed to fast fashion and trend chasing. We are living through a global crisis and as consumers, we need to remember that we all have a voice. By changing perceptions on our wardrobes and sustainability, we can collectively take steps towards keeping resources in use for as long as possible. Every act counts, start small by giving away items you no longer use or using your social media platforms to do closet sales. Gone are the days when thrifting used to be frowned upon, it has now become a movement for both sustainability and self-expression! Why fit in when you can stand out?

Elsie Mutsaka is a Fashion Beauty & Lifestyle blogger and the owner of Shop Efuru, an online thrift store. When she is not advocating for sustainable fashion, she will be coming up with cool marketing strategies for brands that want to reach millennials, GenZs and the alphas.
Connect with Elsie on :
Instagram @elsiemutsaka
Twitter @elsiemutsakai

Ndeipi Magazine, Issue 116

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