Fall fashion, winter getaways, summer sunshine all seem to warrant a new wardrobe.
Sure, you need weather-appropriate clothes when the seasons change but do we really need to update our styles every few months?
Then there’s sale season (often multiple times of the year) where we indulge in purchases even more as if all the tops and trousers in the world are running out.
Why are we under the illusion that if we don’t buy that last shirt or bag, we’ll never find another one like it for that good a price?
We stock up like it’s literally going out of fashion.
And Brits update their wardrobes, paying thousands of pounds, with men spending 43% more than women.
So when does the cycle end? What do you do will all your old clothes?
Research from American Express and Nectar reveals that Brits are investing £1,093 a year on new clothes including outerwear, bags and shoes, nightwear and underwear.
And despite the stereotype that women love to shop, it’s men that are spending more, splashing £115 every month on clothes, compared to women who spend £81.
What’s more is people spend more money on clothes than they do going out, personal grooming, and even technology.
But fast fashion churned out by retailers to meet demands has a cost.
Our clothes are so much more political than we think; everything we buy has an impact on our planet even before we’ve bought it home.
We should all be more conscious of how ethical our practices are.
Denim on denim might be a popular look but consider the 7,000 litres of water that’s used to produce the two billion pair of jeans made every year.
Even for a t-shirt, the amount of water that’s needed is what an average person drinks over the course of 900 days.
Consider the clothes you buy at production level – who’s sewing, stitching, sequencing them?
While not all companies exploit the garment industries, a considerable number of high street retailers do.
Fast fashion has devastating effects on low-wage workers in developing countries—causing river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and, in some cases – death.
Our new garments come at a humanitarian and environmental cost.
It’s not the brands who notoriously use cheap labour.
And more often than not, cheap clothes fall apart quickly. Surely you’re better off shopping less frequently at more ethical stores, albeit more expensive ones? At least these will last longer.
We’re already exhausting the world’s natural resources and physically running out of places we can dump stuff.
Britons sent 235m items of clothing to landfill last spring alone. We literally can’t afford to live like this anymore.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, buy less and re-use more. Buy wants necessary and by all means, treat yourself once in a while but perhaps it’s time we looked back to our grandparents’ generation for inspiration. Make do and mend saw them through some of the hardest times.
Who knows we’ll experiencing equally precarious situations.
MORE: 5 things you probably didn’t know you can recycle
MORE: What happens if you don’t bother washing your recycling?
MORE: ‘I can do it all, but all of it is not mine to do’ should be the feminist anthem of 2018