Useful tips and advice on buying and looking after your clothes
Our guest blogger this week comes from Roundabout Children's Wear. Giving us some really useful and important tips on how we can help reduce waste that's impacting our planet right now.
We are all aware of the devastating effect the fashion industry is having on the planet and there are several ways in which we can all help to reduce that impact. If we all take three simple steps, collectively we can make a big difference.
The biggest change we can make is to simply buy less. As a clothes retailer it may seem counter intuitive for me to recommend you buy less but I believe in buying fewer, better quality items, wearing them more, taking good care of them and making them last. It’s all about investing in our clothes, choosing items we can love to wear and feel good in over and over again.
Better quality clothes last longer, carry on looking bang-box fresh and can be confidently passed on for someone else to love because they’re too good to throw away. When you buy a pair of shorts for your oldest child, you want them to be worn by the youngest too and then you want to sell them or hand them down to friends or cousins. This is what I’m aiming for with Roundabout – better quality fabrics and carefully handmade clothes, which are practical and long lasting as well as being beautiful and fun to wear.
If you are spending a little bit more, you will choose more carefully and you will want to love your clothes. To quote Stella McCartney in a recent interview for the Guardian -
“…rule of thumb: if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t…”
Not washing our clothes too often has so many benefits; it uses less water & power, it reduces the release of fibres into the oceans and it keeps your clothes looking fresh & new. I am a great believer that outdoor play is great for children, so of course they will get dirty and clothes do need to be washed. So if you can’t brush off the dirt, buying natural fibres, washing at a lower temperature with eco-friendly detergent and air-drying is best.
One of the biggest decisions we have to make is what to do with our old clothes and how to pass them on. It’s a frustrating part of buying clothes for children – they grow! At Roundabout we have designed with this in mind, for example, the trousers are longer with turn-ups so you can roll them down, the dresses can be worn as tops with leggings.
There are lots of ways you can avoid putting clothes into landfill from selling to donating and you can read more on my website, click here.
Some of the big high street names now offer recycling banks in-store so dropping off your unwanted clothes is really easy. Marks & Spencer & Oxfam established ‘Swhopping’ in 2008 and now brands such as H&M and Zara also have collection bins. I have introduced a similar scheme, ‘Roundabout Again’. You can return your pre-loved garments at one of my pop-up shops and receive a £5 discount to spend on your next purchase the same day.
The fashion industry is starting to listen and, as consumers, we can all make a difference. If you would like to know more, please visit me on the Roundabout Childrenswear stand in the Craft Marquee at the Royal County of Berkshire Show or visit the Roundabout website.