3 Ways on How to be a Conscious Fashion Consumer during Lockdown

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Being away from the scene of social media has definitely made me lose touch with what is currently happening in that world but luckily I was subscribed to the Nu Wardrobe Community newsletter.

Nu Wardrobe is an app that allows people to borrow clothes from others and vice versa. Borrowing clothes is a sustainable way of preserving your wardrobe and giving them new life.

Recently I attended Nu Wardrobe’s Coffee & Chats online event, where members and sustainable fashion enthusiasts openly chatted about the current state of the fast fashion industry and their thoughts on the future of fashion consumers. It was very refreshing to engage with people who have a similar interest to me and below were the three simple ways to be more of a conscious fashion consumer during COVID-19 lockdown.

1. Do the “5 Wears, 5 Days” Challenge

The Nu wardrobe members challenged themselves to wear one piece of clothing differently each day, for 5 days. Based on the insights they shared during the conversation, it allowed them to rediscover their wardrobe and find pieces of clothing that they haven’t worn in a while and gave it new life.

The members pushed them to unleash their inner fashionistas and appreciate the clothes they currently have. They were also able to reflect on past purchases they had, like realising why they bought that heavy and uncomfortable, 50e sequin dress just for the Pride Parade and never really have another occasion to wear it again.

Being on social media detox, I missed out on this challenge as part of Fashion Revolution Week but I plan to do it on my own time and I’m excited to see what I come up with.

2. Don’t invest in new clothes, invest in a new skill! 

It was brought up that during this challenging time, people are clinging to buying/treating themselves with materialistic items to gain a dopamine hit as a way to manage the disruption of COVID-19 to their normal daily lives (I’m guilty of this!). I don’t blame anyone for doing this as walking away from an outfit by leaving the store seems easier than closing the website page without being targeted by ads afterward.  Buying new clothes will only give a short-term of fulfilment whereas learning a new skill will be more effective in the long run.

I have recently invested learning how to sew by buying a pre-owned sewing machine. Being back in my childhood home, I have rediscovered old clothes that can do with some new alterations in order stay in tune with the fashion trends. (I will be turning most of my old tshirts in to crop tops) Sewing is just an example of a skill you can learn but it will also make you a more effective conscious fashion consumer if you ever decide to alter or re-design your old clothes.

3. Do your research, Greenwashing is becoming a trend. 

Lockdown has opened the eyes of more consumers about the effect of the fast fashion to the environment and labourers. Due to this, big retailers are now being pressured to incorporate ethical and sustainable practices but due to the size of their company, the road to adapting these responsibilities isn’t as simple and they have resulted in greenwashing their brand instead.

Before you press that “add to cart” button do your research whether or not this company has just cut the wages of labourers in due to Covid-19. From the coffee chat, I learned about the Good On You app which rates fashion brands on how ethical they are towards animals, the environment and labour. Since downloading this app, I have so much about my go-to retailers and discovered new brands to support.

Those 3 ways are very simple yet effective approaches in becoming a more conscious fashion consumer and they were my main 3 takeaways from the online coffee chat with Nu Wardrobe. I hope you find them useful during lockdown and I hope you also learn some new insights about your current wardrobe and the fashion industry. Stay safe and well everyone!

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