BY LOVE YOUR CLOTHES

Christmas is almost upon us, though you wouldn’t think it from the recent sunshine-filled days! This time of year is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family and make some happy memories. It’s a time for sharing and caring, eating too much and vegging out in front of Elf (possibly the best Christmas film ever?)

However, Christmas can also be a stressful time, what with all the get-togethers, parties and shopping for gifts and new outfits. Many of us will be prompted to head out to the shops to buy a brand new look feeling that we simply have ‘nothing to wear’.
The problem is, some recent research by WRAP* has shown that in the UK, even though we spend around £44 billion on new clothes each year (that’s a whopping £1,700 per household), nearly a third of what’s in our wardrobes hasn’t been touched for a year! Not only this, but we also send around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing to landfill each year, even though clothes can be re-used, upcycled or recycled. If you think about it in economic terms, that’s around £140 million pounds worth of clothing being chucked in the bin.

We think this needs to change and it’s why we’re supporting Charity Fashion Live (CFL) again this year. It’s going to be a super fun event and we hope it will inspire everyone to try shopping in a different way!

In the meantime, here are some ideas on how you can get party-ready without hollowing out your bank account:

Raid your local charity shops

If you’re on the lookout for some new items to take pride of place in your wardrobe, buying second hand is a great option. You can find anything from Topshop to Gucci, and all at a fraction of the price. With a bit of imagination and a clever browsing strategy, you can create looks that are unique to you, as well as being bang on trend. And what’s more, not only will you be safe in the knowledge that you’ll never have that awkward ‘same dress’ moment at a party, you’ll be supporting a good cause and doing your bit for the environment to boot. Everybody wins!

model layla wears all Barnardo’s – south woodforD. image – tom SAINTY.

Borrow from friends and family

IMAGE: CHARITY RETAIL ASSOCIATION’S STYLE ME IN SECONDS CAMPAIGN. ALL CHARITY SHOP CLOTHING.

If you have any friends or family that are the same size as you, give them a call and get together for a wardrobe swap. That LBD that you’re bored of could be your friend’s brand new Christmas party outfit, and vice versa. If a big group of you get together and do a mega-swap, you could come away with a brand new wardrobe.

Mix and Match

IMAGE: CHARITY RETAIL ASSOCIATION’S STYLE ME IN SECONDS CAMPAIGN. ALL CHARITY SHOP CLOTHING.

This is where you get creative and start looking at what you own differently. An outfit can be completely transformed by mixing and matching different items and accessories. Try a different skirt and jacket combo, add some jewellery, a scarf, maybe some statements tights and those shoes that have been lurking under the bed for a while.

Hire out

IMAGE: CHARITY RETAIL ASSOCIATION’S STYLE ME IN SECONDS CAMPAIGN. ALL CHARITY SHOP CLOTHING.

If you want to look extra special, but don’t want to fork out half your pay check on a glamorous gown or designer shoes, hiring out is a really good option. If you think about it, there’s no reason to break the bank on an outfit you’ll only wear once. You can find some really great, high quality pieces here:
Girl Meets Dress
Cinderella Me
Designer Handbag Hire
Hot Rocks Hire

*WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.