Rosie’s Sustainable Wardrobe

Ah a new season. Autumn is upon us and so heralds the swapping of the wardrobe and the pressure to update ‘your look’ for the season ahead. But stop right there, before you click ‘buy’ on your Zara shopping cart, consider implementing some more eco-friendly shopping strategies for AW21.

While ‘second hand September’ has passed, our Senior Account Director Rosie is a big believer that we should be supporting sustainable dressing all year around. So here are her tips for being a bit more green with your work wardrobe, and don’t worry, there’s not a hemp dress in sight.

Tip #1 – Charity Shops: No secret here, but second hand clothing stores are a gold mine for workwear. I’ve discovered everything from Aje blouses to Valentino heels, and most of it is virtually new. The key thing with the charity shop hunt is that it’s just that, a hunt. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find anything, they’re constantly putting out new pieces and every day brings the possibility of a Balenciaga bag (happened to me!) I’d also recommend choosing a high street that has a couple for you to visit like West Hampstead or Westbourne Grove, as you’ve got more possibility of a win.

Tip #2 – Vintage: Again this is well known, but I would argue a different sector of second-hand dressing to charity shopping. The prices are often higher, but typically you get more statement items that can bring a look to life. With so many pieces this year being inspired by 90’s trends, I would really encourage people to first look to buy vintage before purchasing a remake on the high street. Depop and eBay are brilliant if you’re on the hunt a specific brand or silhouette: i.e. ‘Biba jacket’. Remember that the average body has changed over time, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t fit quite right, and find yourself a great tailor who can alter the piece to you.

Tip #3 – Investment Buys: Let’s not kid ourselves, we are all going treat ourselves to a little something new this season, but let’s make sure what we do buy is made to last. I’ve got several star pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had since I was 18, and I still wear them year on year. More often than not, these products are more expensive than H&M, but your cost per wear will be worth it in the end. From experience I can say that the pieces that have lots of versatility or opportunities for use end up being the best investments – my Saint James Breton is worn weekly and I’ve never regretted shelling out for a proper work rucksack.

Tip #4 – The Wardrobe Loan: We’ve all heard of Hurr, By Rotation, Cocoon Club, which are excellent resources for renting occasion wear and designer pieces. But how often do you borrow from the other women in your life? So much of my closet (sorry did I mention I’m American) has hand me down items from my mum, sister and even my grandma. While we’re not all necessarily the same size or have the same style, we’ve found joy in many of the same pieces. I think my family would argue I’ve not quite mastered the art of the loan as I’ve yet to actually give anything back to them, but the sentiment was there. So, next time you’re home have a peak through mum’s wardrobe…

So there it is. If anything, I hope I’ve made you think twice on your next purchase and challenged you to be more sustainable when dressing for work! Every little helps afterall.