With an army of stylists and designers at her fingertips, getting dressed should come easy for the former Kate Middleton. However in recent years, we’ve come to watch – encouragingly – as the royal has honed a small collection of labels that she continually rewears and favours. This week, the Duchess of Cambridge again looked to British label Eponine for her visit to the west end’s production of Evan Hansen. Led by creative director Jet Shenkman, the label continually references the polished glamour of the 50s and 60s to deliver collections that are tailored, while still modern. And it’s not just favoured by the royals; inspired by a checked boucle shift dress worn by Catherine in 2016, Carrie Symonds also chose the Kensington-based brand in 2019 when she visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate. Rented from MWHQ, Carrie stamped her own style on a blue and white tweed dress by styling it with knee-high flat boots for a Sixties twist.
Re-wearing outfits on the red carpet is nothing new; A-listers often opt for vintage creations from designers such as Valentino or Ralph Lauren to stand out amongst the crowd. While Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is lauded for her ‘thrifty’ choice to re-wear. But as sustainable fashion becomes a movement more than a buzzword, brands have been quick to challenge the status quo and adopt wearing past season’s fashion as the norm.
None more so than BAFTA, who for this year’s awards is “working towards having a net positive impact on the environment,” and politely issued a sustainable dress code to its attendees. Working with the London College of Fashion, UAL’s Centre For Sustainable Fashion (CSF) – which looks at three intersecting areas: research, education and knowledge exchange with industry – they have created a guideline to dressing so guests such as Olivia Coleman, Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston – who wore vintage Dior to the SAGS – can dare to re-wear by choosing either an item previously worn, an item from a sustainable fashion designer such as Stella McCartney, or a rented item – enter MY WARDROBE HQ.
Our collection of 3000+ items includes pre-loved pieces from individual’s wardrobes as well as items from emerging and established designers including Mother of Pearl, Amanda Wakeley and Bora Aksu provides consumers with a virtual dressing up box full of items to play with. It’s not only kinder to the planet but lighter on the pocket too..
Did you know that as a nation, we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe. Goes some way to explain why the fashion industry was worth £32 billion to the UK economy in 2017. The rise in ‘fast fashion’ – a term coined due to the speed in which designs move from the catwalk and onto the high street, often at low cost – not only encourages over consumption but generates excessive waste that the planet is struggling to keep up with. Social media only acerbates this, with recent research from The Hubbub Foundation suggesting that 17% of young people questioned said they wouldn’t wear an outfit again if it had been on Instagram. Following the requisite selfie and #yolo caption, the item is then either returned, or worse, thrown into landfill.
But the tides are changing. As more consumers look for experiences over material things, the rental economy has welcomed retail into the fore, in a sexier, cooler way, offering consumers a new way of shopping high-end luxury fashion, with a greatly reduced carbon footprint. Why choose a mass-produced number from the high street (and in turn buy Mr Zara a new super-yacht at the same time), when you can borrow a runway knockout from Stella McCartney at a fraction of the price, guilt free.
Why are we telling you this? Because MY WARDROBE HQ is championing the circular economy movement by teaming up with peers and brands to offer an unrivalled selection of past and current season pieces at a fraction of the cost of full RRP. We’re hugely passionate about promoting sustainable fashion – we’re not saying give up buying for good, but we want to encourage the message of ‘buy less, buy better’. Better quality items have more stringent policies and processes in place which means less pollutants into nearby rivers, less carbon emissions due to the handmade process these items go through, and a better quality of life for the garment makers. What’s more, by renting out your items, you’ll also line your own pocket which in turn, we hope, will encourage you to turn your back on the high street and fast fashion and instead make a long term commitment to slow fashion.
If you want to lessen your fashion footprint, register here and join MWHQ in our rental revolution!
The only Green Washing we’re interested in is clothes care with ZERO impact on the planet. On average, a household gets through almost 400 loads of laundry a year, consuming 13,500 gallons of water. Not only is this a huge waste, but that waste is also contaminated with microfibres (particles under 5mm) from manmade fabrics. A recent study found 6kg of clothes resulted in anything between 137,951 fibres (for poly-cotton clothes) to 728,789 fibres (for acrylic clothes). You might not think much of it, but what’s worse is these microfibres have started to impact our food chain, with scientists discovering these teeny tiny strands in fish larvae. Yuck. Add this to the energy use and chemical pollutants used, the damage we’re doing to the planet is relentless. So what can we do about it? With the advent of alternative cleaning solutions – anyone else have bicarb and apple vinegar on their repeat shopping list? – we’ve rounded up 5 sustainable laundry hacks you can adopt today.
1. Air them outside.
It might sound obvious but hang your clothes in the fresh air. This will help remove smoke, fumes or smells that may be trapped in your clothes. Ideal airing-out placement is outside if you can swing it, but a breezy sunlit room works as well. Bonus points for the nearby occurrence of leafy green plants, which can help absorb chemicals left over from the garment dying process.
2. Mix it up.
Pick up a bottle of inexpensive, high-proof vodka (any kind will work, we wouldn’t want the good stuff to go to waste ;). Mix with water in a spray bottle until the vodka ratio is about 60-70%. Spray it liberally on the area in question. Vodka dries odorless, kills bacteria, and will successfully remove smells. Leftovers can be added to raspberries and sugar – invite some friends over and suddenly laundry day doesn’t seem so bad!
3. Put them in the freezer.
For denim, many in-fabric smells are created by bacteria, which can be killed by freezing temperatures. If you’re okay with letting your jeans hang out in the freezer for a couple of hours – a large canvas bag will protect them from the icy depths – it can be a great alternative to washing. And since the freezer’s already running, you’ll be conserving energy.
4. Essential oils.
Even if re-worn clothes aren’t outwardly dirty or smelly, they can lose that fresh scent, the desire for which often drives us to wash unnecessarily. To freshen up yesterday’s outfit, mix a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz on target areas. Lavender, lemon, clary sage, or grapefruit are all lovely options.
5. Lemon power.
Replace harsh dry-cleaning chemicals with something that comes straight from the earth. Simply mix lemon juice and water, scrub it onto the offending spot and hang dry. Any leftovers makes the perfect lemon dressing, just add garlic, mustard, honey, pepper, salt, cider vinegar and olive oil. Things that you could never do with your Fairy Non-Bio!