Sustainable Shopping

Soaked in Luxury Oceane Jumper available in navy and pecan on colmershill.com

Sustainable Shopping

Sustainability September has been about helping people understand that buying less fashion and sustainable shopping will have a significant impact on the environment.

Oxfam recently conducted a study revealing that two tonnes of clothing are purchased every minute in the UK. It also found that more than 50 percent of British people are unaware of the negative impact fast fashion has on the environment.

So as a fashion boutique owner, how does that sit with me?

For me, it is an easy answer. We advocate ‘slower fashion’; we want to encourage people to make the most of their wardrobe by buying items they are happy to wear again because they love them and also because they’re well made and last for many seasons, if not years. You can update your wardrobe easily by buying just a few pieces each season to mix into your existing wardrobe, rather than loads of cheap items that you’ll wear maybe once or twice and then dump.

At Colmers Hill Fashion Boutique we can offer a sustainable shopping session with one of our stylists to help you create a capsule wardrobe with items from our many collections, though there’s no pressure to buy.

Earlier this month, I was interested to read a blog from a fellow boutique owner Sarah of Artichoke, who advocates the same philosophy: “Buy less but buy with love items that you will wear time & time again. Buy from an independent retailer because they sell items you adore. If you do this you will sustain your bank balance & your soul as well as the planet.”

Fast Fashion

While the interest in becoming more sustainable has started to rise, so has the amount of ‘fast fashion’ companies. Through social media there is a mentality that you cannot be seen in the same thing twice and for some this means shopping habits include buying cheap items without thinking about why it’s so cheap, who is producing it for such a low price or what conditions their work-force face.

Buying from these companies may feel like the option for many people but if you save up and invest in one or two good quality pieces that you love, that will see you through several seasons and be worn with multiple different outfits – wouldn’t that be better??

Sustainable Shopping – How to be more sustainable

Be selective with the shops that you buy from, research local businesses that care. Don’t give in to the pressure of not being able to wear items more than once and don’t be wasteful!

My aim is for people to understand the longevity of boutique fashion and the value for money in terms of cost per wear. Not everyone will buy from charity shops and so the real way forward is to make people more conscious of their buying habits.

One thing I often hear in my boutique is “feel the fabric!”. This is because good quality will always feel different to a cheaper fabric. The jerseys are weightier and often a lot softer. For example, we stock labels such as A Postcard From Brighton which makes jersey out of a certified renewable wood sources using an eco-responsible production process.

Many of the boutique brands are now heading in a sustainable direction, giving customers an even better conscious choice. This includes two of our favourites, Soaked in Luxury and Sandwich, which are producing many of their styles in BCI cotton, organic cotton, recycled polyester and Eco Viscose.

Here is an example of a few investment pieces…

The labels we stock are boutique brands, not the luxury designer labels you find in airports around the world. We stock items in smaller quantities and while you may pay more for some of these items it is because they have been carefully chosen and should last for many seasons, if not years and possibly even become a family heirloom!

Sustainable Shopping- if you’re looking to become more sustainable with your shopping habits, a capsule wardrobe is a great idea as it will allow you to have lots of different outfit options for each garment. A seasonal capsule wardrobe can contain anywhere from 10 to 30 quality items of clothing and will reduce the amount you have whilst still having a wardrobe that suits you. You can have core investment pieces that look great all year round and add in a few seasonal options twice a year.

Sustainable September is about making consumers more conscious that fast fashion is not the way forward but that we should be supporting ‘slow fashion’. It may take a while but hopefully the industry will start to change for the better which in turn will impact on the environment. Visit our website for a wide range of good quality brands with a variety of products to suit any occasion.

And yes, we do sell online but I believe if we all start to shop more locally, it will make a massive difference globally.

Capsule Wardrobe Consultation

If you would like to book a sustainable shopping consultation, please contact Penny on 01308 426517 .