Blog post

Style me sustainable: keeping fashion out of landfill

When we think of a more sustainable future, we think of cutting down on plastics, more recycling and doing the 'right' thing for society. But what about our love of fashion? asks charity retailer Harriet Webster.

By Harriet Webster - 7 February 2020

Say no to 'fast fashion'

The headlines hit big in 2019 with our TV favourite Miss Stacey Dooley shouting 'no to fast fashion!' and explaining to the nation how 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill every week.

How can we prevent this? you may ask. I don't think we will manage a complete culture shift. However, we can certainly make a conscious effort to help combat our 'wear once' mentality. Oxfam launched #secondhandseptember last year where fashion savvy individuals (62,000 of them, as reported in the Guardian) vowed to buy no new clothing for 30 days... easy right? Take a deep breath and look at the statistics from Oxfam linking to fast fashion today. These include:

From Drapers to Vogue, sustainable fashion is high on the mainstream retail giants' agendas. If you are not on board with a 'greener' outlook, you will get left behind and may feel bad about it too.

Instagram influencer and blogger @theniftythrifter promotes the hashtag #FastFashionRebellion, priding herself on buying no new clothing. The anti-fast-fashionista has an impressive list of followers all praising her stand in promoting a slower more thoughtful fashion view.

So what does this mean for the charity sector?

Charity retailers up and down the country should be jumping for joy as our sector is set to boom and benefit with consumers choosing to be fashionable and sustainable by trading expensive mainstream goods for a more refreshing preloved bargain from their local charity shop. Saving your hard-earned cash, supporting a cause and saving the planet... what's not to love about that? The feel-good factor just got juicier.

The future of slow fashion from a charity retailer's perspective

Valley CiDS (Christians Involved in Developing Society) is a local charity with bases across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire committed to generating funds to help invest in the next generation.

How do they do this?

The charity prides themselves on offering preloved goods at fantastic prices throughout their retail portfolio of 36 charity shops as well as their donation and distribution warehouse. Thousands of donations are circulated around the charities stores every week as opposed to landfill.

Welcome aboard... how can you get involved?

Valley CiDS have teamed up with the University of Derby to help stamp out fast fashion for good. Throughout the next few months, you will see a donation station in Kedleston Campus where staff, students and members of the public can drop off any unwanted clothing.

This will then be collected and sent to Derby City Centre Lighthouse charity shop to be lovingly steamed, priced and processed on to the shop floor ready for somebody else to enjoy the item once more. Once loved, twice treasured. All money will then be generated back into the charity to help support young people through alternative education provisions.

Follow @lighthousecharityshops on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest tips on how to banish your fast fashion habit to create a more stylish, sustainable and savvy you.

Our sustainable bin

Finally, our donation bin placed at Kedleston Road has also been created with sustainability in mind. Away with the plastic and make way for the talented team from Men in Sheds who created the bin using old wood scraps. Waste not, want not.

You can find the bin at Kedleston Road from February 2020 onwards. Thank you in advance for your kind donations towards a great cause. #lighthouselikes

About the author

Harriet Webster
Head of Retail Sales and Marketing

I have worked in charity retail for a number of years and am now part of a senior management team for a local children's charity across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. As Head of Retail Sales and Marketing with over 36 retail outlets, I consider myself a skilled professional in the competitive world of charity retail.