Last week we saw the gorgeous photos of Princess Beatrice’s socially distanced wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. It was absolutely stunning with an abundance of flowers. However, as with most weddings, the focus was on the bride and what she was wearing. In recent years, royal brides have gone to leading fashion designers for their wedding dresses. Kate Middleton stunned in Alexander McQueen, Meghan Markle wowed in Givenchy whilst Princess Eugenie donned Peter Pilotto. Given recent history, Princess Beatrice could have gone down this route. However, she did not. Instead, the modern royal took a very modern approach of wearing vintage. Not just any vintage, the. Queen’s vintage. Princess Beatrice’s dress was a Norman Hartnell gown designed for the Queen that she wore on several occasions in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The stunning taffeta dress is trimmed with Ivory Duchess satin and organza sleeves, and features diamante embellishment. However, this was not the only vintage she donned on her big day. She wore Valentino heels that she previously wore to Kate & William’s wedding in 2011 and like all royal brides, she donned one of the Queen’s tiaras. The one chosen by Beatrice was worn by the Queen on her own wedding day.
This move towards recycling clothes and wearing vintage is an ethical move and strong statement on the environment in times of the mass consumption of fast fashion. Each Australian woman buys 27kg of clothing per year, with 23kgs of that ending up in landfill. Unfortunately, a lot of garments bought (and produced for the mass market) are polyester which takes over 200 years to break down in the environment. If we could lengthen the wear of a garment, we could significantly reduce the environmental impact. One study suggested by extending the life of clothing by just 9 months, it would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints of that item by around 20-30% each. This is significant. We know that the fashion ands textile industry has one of the biggest carbon footprints in the world and if we, as a consumer, can lessen the effect, we have a moral obligation to do so.
Recycling and wearing vintage in the past may have been seen as for those with limited budgets or those stuck in a past era. This is not the case anymore. It is a fashion statement by those who care about the environment. Celebrities the world over are donning recycled clothing as well as recycling their own clothing, often wearing it years down the track. Kate Middleton is well known for this, Joaquin Phoenix wore the same tux throughout the entire awards season, both Emma Watson and Livia Firth champion the cause, and even Kim Kardashian has been spotted in vintage designer gowns. None of these people have limited budgets or are stuck in past eras. Quite the opposite. In fact all of these people are quite fashion forward which disproves the notion that recycled and vintage clothing isn’t fashionable. It is, whilst also being good for the environment.
Recycled and vintage clothing also has many benefits to the consumer. By holding on to well made pieces that you continue to wear for years on end, you begin to cultivate an interesting and unique wardrobe. You can style old pieces with new pieces, add different accessories, create a whole new look, unlike anyone else, whilst still being on trend. Yes this does require a bit of hoarding but fashion is cyclical. Everything comes back in at some stage. Again, buying recycled and vintage provides you with unique pieces that you won’t see around. These pieces tend to be better made and more cost effective.
Recycling clothing also extends to hiring out your clothes and hiring clothing. Rather than dispose of it, holding on to it and hiring it out results in more uses and extends the life of the garment. This is perfect for when you have fantastic pieces you don’t want to use right now but don’t want to get rid of. Hiring others’ clothes continues the cycle of recycling. Plus, you can access designer pieces for a fraction of the retail cost as well as stay on top of trends, minimizing the damage done to the environment.
With all this in mind, think about it when you next go shopping. Consider recycling existing pieces of your wardrobe, shopping recycled and vintage or hiring, here at The Volte. The environment will thank you for it.