Circular Fashion: Giving Clothes a Second Life


When it comes to breathing life back into the fashion fails you made back in 2016, it might seem easier to wait 3 weeks or longer for them to sell, donate or just be thrown away. Although with the social media craze, people are sharing more and more beautiful ways to turn once trash into a piece of treasure, as our style changes with age, we can look at old pieces and just wonder what we were thinking, but through my dive on social media such as TikTok and Youtube, a lot of independent fashion designers and those who enjoy altering some pieces for their own benefit have made this information so accessible that you have no excuse not to try and reimagine your once loved pieces.

Let’s dive into some of the ways you can give clothes a second life and bring us all that one step closer to a healthier bank account and a sustainable world.

Sewing Manchines

If you are sick of buying pieces that you need just an inch taking in here or a little looser there and either don’t want to go through all the reselling, refunding or charity donation, then I would suggest you invest some pretty pennies in a sewing machine. These pieces of technology are a godsend and will save so much disappointment, money and time in the future.

This also gives you the freedom to pick something off the rack at the charity shop and completely transform it into something unique and perfectly fitted to your body type, whether you want a cute two-piece or something that embodies the streetwear for men trends that are all over at the moment. These standard sizes that are created by mass producers always have it wrong. In one brand, you could be a size medium, while in another, you could be an extra small, There is no consistency and let’s say they did get one thing right there will always be something else you wish was different, whether it be the length or fit around the waist.

Investing both money and time in learning simple ways of alternations and constructing from scratch is the perfect way to reach sustainability but you can also perfect your wardrobe so it all fits you like a glove. Through my research, I’ve heard a key advice point “Your clothes will look expensive if they are tailored to your body” and “My fashion advice would always get your clothes tailored.” This is important for more than just looking expensive; you always opt for clothes that fit you very well and are flattering. Imagine if every piece of clothing you had was well-fitted. Then you could have a wardrobe full of pieces you wouldn’t need to part with.

Get Familiar With A Tailors

Let’s say hypothetically that you do not have the time to sit behind your sewing machine every time you make a purchase. Why not support a small business and find a local tailor? Who knows, after a few regular visits, they could give you bulk discounts and have your measurements on file, making the process even quicker.

This gives you the opportunity to get the most out of your fashion, enjoy it a little bit more and bring some life to old pieces for a fraction of the price of buying new.

Apps: Vinted, Depop, and Small Designers

When you do need to buy something new, maybe you haven’t got an appropriate dress for a wedding, or maybe you don’t have many warm jumpers for winter. If you are in desperate need of expanding some pieces in your wardrobe, we would recommend that you look for places that allow you to buy from someone else. Doing this reduces demand within fast fashion sectors and while you might think your purchase might not do much, you’ll be surprised at how many people you can influence when you are strolling in with a gorgeous piece of second-hand clothing at such a reasonable price.

If you aren’t familiar with platforms such as Vinted and Depop, they are people selling unique, basic and vintage pieces of clothing for a fraction of the retail price. While you will come across resellers or small designers selling their pieces on these platforms, it’s your choice whether you want to spend that bit extra. I’ve begun to view fashion pieces as investments, and while you don’t have to always spend a lot to get quality, sometimes it’s necessary.

For example, when you are buying basic pieces such as t-shirts or suits, you don’t want to skip on quality because you need them to last as long as possible. Therefore, spending on these things can not only prolong the life of these pieces but also save money, and landfills and encourage sustainability.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to breathing life back into once-loved pieces, you’ve got to assess all the things you are willing to do, but it’s important to realise that everyone starts somewhere. Whether you build up your courage to begin your sewing journey or just want to invest in pieces that last for years to come, there will be a way for you to give pieces a second chance at life.