May 17, 2023

The Recycle Revolution

‘Sustainable Fashion’ has been hitting the headlines for some time and rightly so - awareness of the fashion industry’s huge environmental impact is essential.

Let’s start with some stats. According to the UN, the fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of all global emissions, more than the aviation and shipping industries combined. When it comes to wastage, 92 million tons of clothes-related waste is created each year, which produces half a million tons of microplastics. * 

Add into the mix the cost of living and the need to make our money go further, inevitably, splashing out on new clothes may not be top of your agenda right now, but the good news is that doing it more responsibly means you won’t have to! Here’s how…

Fall in Love again

Our wardrobes are chock-full of clothes we simply aren’t wearing (around 1.6 billion garments to be precise according to the BBC)so isn’t it time we relooked at what we’re NOT wearing and find
a way to fall back in love with the pieces we already own? Locally there’s an abundance of so many talented tailors and seamstresses who can work wonders with those items hiding at the back of our wardrobes. Dig them out and see how they could be transformed?

Tailor Made

  • Hems too long or frayed? This is a super quick job likely to cost around a tenner.
  • Dress or suit not fitting quite right at the waist, shoulders or sleeves? Create a made-to-measure look from as little as £15.
  • Gone off the style? Does your dress/ top/ trouser need a refresh? Switch up the shape! Turn a dress into a top, an over-sized long-sleeved top into a structured sleeveless number, trousers into capri pants – the possibilities are endless and can be done from around £12-20.
  • Realised pale yellow really isn’t your colour? Then use fabric dyes to change the colour into something you do love. Dylon dyes start at £4.29 and are super simple to use once you know how.

Where to Go

  • LB Dry Cleaners, Nelson House, 1A Church St, Epsom 01372 729457
  • Ewell Village Dry Cleaners, 65 High St, Ewell  020 8786 7171
  • Quality Dry Cleaners of Epsom, 37 Upper High St, Epsom 01372 722477
  • Clothing dyes from Robert Dyas, 9 High St, Epsom 01372 725458
  • Sew and Sew, 9 South Street, Epsom 01372 749550

Rental on the Rise

Don’t want (or have the room) to add to the ever-growing stash in your wardrobe but want to wear something fabulous for an occasion, never seen (on you) before? Then rent! 

There’s never been such a plethora of amazing designer (& high-end high street) garbs available for you to borrow because let’s be honest, who has £300+ available right now to buy that WOW outfit to wear just the once? 

This may sound bonkers but you can rent from as little as £20 a day, get those selfies taken, feel fabulous and then simply return it – with barely a dent in your wallet!

Predictions by market research company Imarc suggests the rental market could increase by 65% to about £1.6bn worldwide by 2025 so why wait, everyone will be at it soon!

The Only Way is… Online Rental

By Rotation:
John Lewis:

Shop Preloved

Thankfully the stigma around ‘second hand’ clothes is long gone and according to GlobalData, the clothing resale market in the UK grew by 149% between 2016 and
2022 and is forecast to rise by 67.5% from 2022 to 2026. 

Love Island fans in the room? You may have noticed for the past two years, in a bid to increase their sustainability credentials, they’ve been sponsored by eBay rather than fast fashion brands. Research released by ITV showed that 53% of viewers who were aware of the partnership went on to buy second hand, or ‘preloved’ clothes and the site had 1,600% more searches for ‘preloved clothes’ compared with the previous year. With over 5million tuning into the final, this shows how opinions are changing and now is the time to embrace the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Local treasure troves

  • Think Vintage:
    Unit 2-16, Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 8RW 
    A fabulous emporium of vintage gems, everything from sportswear, dresses, accessories, furniture and so much more. 
  • Oxfam, 55 High St, Epsom KT19 8DH
  • British Heart Foundation
    27 High St, Epsom KT19 8DD
  • Scope, 31 High St, Epsom KT19 8DD
  • Cancer Research UK
    75, 77 High St, Epsom KT19 8DN
  • Debra, 78 High St, Ewell, Epsom KT17 1R

£Cash in your Wardrobe, Ewell @bournehallewell

Also, don’t forget the newly launched, ‘C£sh in your wardrobe’ preloved, secondhand and vintage clothes event at Bourne Hall, Ewell Village which takes place the 3rd Saturday of every month, 9am-3pm. Next dates are Saturday 20th May and Saturday 17th June 2023.

Preloved Apps + Online sites to explore

HEWI: Hardly Ever Worn It
Vestiaire Collective:

Items for Sale/ Swap or Free in Epsom & Ewell: Local Facebook group worth joining for super reasonable finds (may take a while of scrolling but sometimes comes up trumps).

Words by Jenny Houghton

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