Aimed at consumers who demand wardrobe change in an instant, affordable and trend-driven basis, the persistent market for ‘fast fashion’ is in dire need of reform and luxury retail might just be the solution.
There is a need to ‘fix fashion’ and there are ways consumers can approach this. The difficulty fashion has is the overhaul in trends; it is all about offering seasonal collections. But we can create a sustainable circulation of fashion by offering an avenue for re-usability in some form or another.
Existing and emerging premium preloved sites like Vestiaire Collective is encouraging to see. While fast fashion is easily disposable and less likely to be reused or resold, luxury, high-end goods re-circulate revenue and recyclability — be it through resale, donation or second-hand use.
Brands are also beginning to introduce these initiatives into their long-term sustainability strategies. Online retailer Farfetch has recently launched a resale platform for designer bags, and reports show the secondhand market will be 1.5 times bigger than fast fashion by 2028, with used items forecasted to make up an average of 13% of people’s wardrobes.*
Higher value, better quality products have greater longevity meaning they are naturally sustainable.
The introduction of luxury second-life platforms also widens affordability for consumers that are currently driving the fast fashion market due to its accessibility.
Social media has also heightened the threat of fast fashion and brands should be considering their messaging when advertising. “Online marketing is causing the younger generation to change their clothing more often. With brands using influencers to market their new lines on a daily basis, people don’t want to be seen ‘wearing the same thing twice’ in photos.”
It’s a responsibility both brand and consumer has in caring for our environment. Through advertising we could encourage both new and old style, by introducing recycling and reselling initiatives or even pairing old with new.
Individually, we should look to hone our style and invest in quality rather than quantity.
By investing in a luxury yet limited wardrobe you will actually see it begin to reduce your spending. Buyers should look to introduce key items that become the framework to every look and can be coordinated or worn in a number of ways.
This ‘capsule’ effect embraces the idea of decluttering life, a method championed by people like organizing consultant Marie Kondo who discusses only keeping items that ‘bring you joy’ including the things you wear — this is a lesson we should all adopt when it comes to wanting to reduce our wardrobes.
The process could help you to rediscover your style, remove the convenience of easy-to-grab fashion and literally help reduce your overspending habits. You begin to collect items you really love and it offers the opportunity to splurge on something more luxury.
In the age of ecommerce, luxury fashion is introducing sustainable solutions to packaging to which ultimately enhances its quality, the items become more returnable, re-usable and recyclable.
Not only does good packaging ensure your items are kept in better condition, it adds value to your goods if you still have the original, designer packaging upon re-sale.
The desire for new designs will never die, but an equal effort from both brands and consumer needs to go into what you do with the items you don’t use anymore to secure ourselves a sustainable future.