Mak­ing sus­tain­abil­ity fash­ion­able

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CARLY GOOCH

Shop­ping with­out your wal­let may sound coun­ter­ac­tive to buy­ing that great new top but it’s the start of build­ing a sus­tain­able wardrobe.

Nel­son’s Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity

Re­Store em­ployee

Becky Wy­att said it was es­ti­mated in

2011, 1.72 tonnes of clothes ended up as land­fill, equalling the same amount of brand new clothes pur­chased.

‘‘Be­cause I work in an op shop I ob­vi­ously see the re­sult of over­con­sump­tion of clothes, they’re made to be dis­pos­able.’’

In an age where con­sumers throw clothes away or into a cloth­ing bin, fash­ion stylist Sonya Leusink-Sladen said cre­at­ing a planet-friendly wardrobe was about ‘‘up­cy­cling, value per wear and sec­ond-hand shop­ping’’.

‘‘We need to step away from the idea that cloth­ing is some­thing to throw out af­ter a while.

‘‘We should be in­vest­ing in qual­ity and look­ing af­ter it.’’

She said 100 years ago women only had a few dresses in­clud­ing a good dress, a church dress, a cou­ple of day dresses whole bunch of aprons’’.

‘‘The cost of the best dress would’ve been in the thou­sands but you would look af­ter it and you would re­pair it and when it fell apart, you would turn it into some­thing for your child.0

‘‘It was that com­pletely dif­fer­ent mindset than what there is now.’’

Now, it’s easy to buy mul­ti­ple items of clothes from a chain store with prices of­ten un­der $20 for an out­fit.

Leusink-Sladen said while it wasn’t bad to buy from th­ese places, there needed to be a bal­ance.

‘‘It’s just buy­ing the right pieces and look­ing af­ter them.’’

Mind­ful shop­ping was also some­thing to con­sider.

Ev­ery­one knows some­one who buys on im­pulse and has half their draw­ers full of clothes with the la­bel still on.

Leusink-Sladen said a good way to com­bat buy­ing on the fly was to ‘‘shop with­out your wal­let’’.

‘‘You look at things dif­fer­ently. In the shop you think this is amaz­ing’’ but by the time you have to get your wal­let, there’s ‘‘and a time to come off that ‘‘chem­i­cal high’’.

Other ways to stave off the buy­ing beast are to walk away and think about it overnight or put it on layby, even if you can af­ford it straight away.

‘‘It makes you think ‘ How much do I re­ally want this?’ If it’s not that ex­cit­ing then you’re not pre­pared to wait.

‘‘If you re­ally want some­thing, you don’t mind wait­ing.’’

Op shops of­fer a plethora of used clothes that have stood the test of time.

She said the key to thrift shop­ping was ‘‘not to get dis­cour­aged’’ and to think of what the item could be­come.

‘‘I start with fab­ric, I let my eye be drawn to fab­ric.’’

With some ba­sic sewing skills and a sa­chet of dye, chang­ing but­tons on a shirt, hem­ming a skirt or mak­ing a cot­ton dress brighter can in­stantly bring an item into vogue.

Leusink-Sladen re­ferred to a quote: ’’French women have small wardrobes and they’re the most stylish women.

‘‘Less is more. It’s not what you wear but how you wear it.’’ - Save­mart, Quar­an­tine Rd - Sal­va­tion Army Fam­ily Store, Van­guard St

- Rich­mond Red Cross, Queen St - Karen Jor­dan Out­let, Bridge St - La­bels Re­sale & De­signer Cloth­ing, Bridge St

MARTIN DE RUYTER/ NEL­SON LEADER

Fash­ion blog­ger

Sonya Leusink Sladen, at Save Mart in An­nes­brook, with a jacket she made from a cur­tain and a dress pur­chased from Save Mart.

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