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Sustainably Stylish: The Only Trend You Should Follow in 2024

by Aiden

Aparna Sharma advocates for the ‘repeating outfits’ trend.   

Did you know that Alia Bhatt recently repeated her wedding sari for the 69th National Film Awards? This may not be a big deal to many, but it sends out the right message to those who feel uneasy repeating an outfit that has been photographed often, or published on social media. In a world struggling with climate change, in which evidence points that the fast fashion industry plays a significant role, it’s high time we start consuming less of fast fashion and start repeating our clothes more.

Have you ever felt that someone will pass a snide remark if you repeat the same outfit regularly, or one that you’ve already posted? If so, you are not alone. A study by Barnardo’s –  a British charity dedicated to caring for vulnerable children via reselling second hand clothes – showed that on average, items of clothing are worn just seven times before they’re discarded. Most clothes which are discarded don’t get passed on to another person. This is a misconception a lot of people have about the clothes they discard from their wardrobe. Here are some important statistics which might help you consider buying better-quality clothes, and re-wearing them more often:

  • 100 to 150 billion garments are produced by the fashion industry every year.
  • 60 percent of the clothing produced is plastic based materials like nylon, acrylic, polyester, etc.
  • 92 million tonnes of clothes end up in landfills every year, and only 20 percent of clothes discarded are reused or recycled.
  • Textile production generates 42 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.
  • Textile waste in landfills causes methane emissions, which in turn is contributing to climate change.The reason for these sobering statistics can be traced back to the introduction of fast fashion and social media. Consumerism is good for fast fashion companies, as they want us to feel like we are constantly missing out on monthly or even weekly trends, but the reality is that you’re not missing out on anything.

Fear of missing out is a marketing tool these companies use to make us buy more. The best way to move away from this cycle of mass consumption is by doing a three-month detox from buying fast fashion, and instead repeating the outfits you already own multiple times. This also sends out a message to the industry that we care about the planet, and challenges the capitalist ideology that we constantly need more to feel good about ourselves.

You can make outfit repeating look different each time by styling it with different accessories, or wear it in exactly the same way you wore it before. This is a sustainable and economical way to use your wardrobe – wearing an outfit 50 times instead of five can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of that particular outfit.

Outfit repeating saves you money, as fast fashion brands launch up to 50 or more trends every year, and keeping up with all of them can be stressful and expensive. When you buy a few good-quality outfits, it will save you time, and keep your wardrobe clutter free. Keeping a few staple pieces and outfits in your wardrobe that you love, and are excited to wear, makes getting dressed so much easier and fun. Repeating clothes also helps keep clothes out of landfills. Just think of it as giving a big hug to the planet every time you repeat your outfit.

We’ve seen many celebrities repeat their outfits in 2023. Thanks to the likes of Kate Middleton, Nicole Kidman and Alia Bhatt, outfit repeating is probably the ‘coolest’ trend against climate change – literally. Will you be repeating your outfits more in 2024?

Aparna Sharma (Instagram: @stylishsuitcase) is a non-conformist who believes that fashion must become a force for good and style must meet sustainability. She breaks down the nuances of slow fashion and how we can stay stylish without being trendy.

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