I'm currently participating in #thevintagefashionchallenge on Instagram; this week's themes are colour-based, so this morning we made an early morning visit to Kew Gardens for a green-themed photo shoot. This dress was a charity shop score - it's a modern LK Bennett in silk jersey; I just couldn't resist the novelty key print, especially as at the time I was trying to incorporate more green into my wardrobe. Although it's clearly not true vintage or repro, the silk jersey is amazingly comfortable and I think it styles as vintage quite well.
But on the subject of going green, something that's been on my mind a lot lately is reducing clothing waste, especially plastic clothing waste. I'm talking about polyester. Polyester is a non-biodegradable plastic fibre that uses over 70 million barrels of oil every year. I generally try to avoid polyester on principle anyway, but the sheer scale of the environmental impact of clothing waste in general, and polyester specifically, is an even better reason to stick to natural fibres. Zero plastic waste is a bit of a buzz topic of late, with bulk foods stores popping up all over the country - which is awesome (there's one in Chiswick near us), but the fashion industry isn't usually considered or held to account for its plastic waste, despite being the second biggest cause of global pollution after the actual oil industry. The culture of consuming cheap, poor-quality garments is a huge part of the problem, creating mountains of waste and adding microplastics to waterways and oceans. I'm grateful to Fashion Revolution week for shining a spotlight and raising awareness of this issue recently.
It's clear that all textile manufacturing creates a pollution problem of one kind or another - even natural fibres can have a huge environmental impact in terms of the water and pesticides used to grow them. Clearly, the only truly eco-friendly solution is to reuse, recycle, share, borrow, and buy second hand. So in this way, wearing vintage and thrifted clothing is one small way we can contribute to reducing waste and pollution and pursue sustainability. I'm not perfect, certainly - it's not like I never buy anything new, and yes, I'll confess some of it is polyester - but I resolve to continue buying second hand and vintage where I can, and using vintage or recycled fabric where possible rather than buying new.
- Dress - LK Bennett (second hand, via charity shop)
- Shoes - Next (second hand, gift from a friend)
- Hat - vintage 1940s
- Bangles - vintage bakelite; vintage celluloid; Splendette fakelite
- Earrings - vintage c1950s