Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at shopmyclothes.com! Learn more about this awesome and Eco-friendly website!
ShopMyClothes.com is the only free online marketplace entirely dedicated to fashion. Unlike sites like eBay, Kjijiji, and Craigslist we focus strictly on fashion, primarily high-end. We created a site for consumers who value brands and who have more refined tastes in apparel – not merely those in the market for garage-sale finds. We give great clothes an expanded life cycle by matching those who no longer value a clothing item with those who value it more.
The fashion industry is ever expanding and is, by its nature, excessively consumption and disposal oriented. With new styles and emerging brands popping up with each seasonal cycle, as eco-aspiring fashion lovers we really have to make a concerted effort to watch how much we consume and spend. Couple this natural fashion turnover cycle which has been at play for centuries with the recent extreme popularity of “fast fashion” (fast fashion is essentially in-style but disposable, cheap, affordable, clothing that turns over from season to season, and is typically not worn by the wearer more than a handful of times. Think rapid turnover items from the likes of Zara and H&M), and it is easy to see why the fashion industry is one of the greatest creators of waste within our society (according to our sources, second only to agriculture in the use of water, for example!).
At ShopMyClothes, we are focused on building a community of fashion lovers looking for great brands that last. That is why they can be resold. A three button black blazer from Hugo Boss can reside in a man’s wardrobe for a decade. A Chanel tote with the classic ‘double C’ is a style anchor piece that will never be out of season. That said – personal preference changes, body shapes and sizes grow and shrink, and closet-space is fleeting. So our members use our site to trade these classic pieces to new homes, where they can reside for years – or ultimately turn over again! We don’t see our community of users as environmental evangelists. I’m sure they don’t see themselves that way either. Rather, they are fashion enthusiasts who are interested in buying and selling top quality pieces, which happens to be the environmentally responsible practice (we’re sure it is a nice bonus for them)!
However, just because it is not our ‘raison d’être’, does not mean that it isn’t an important and ongoing reason for our existence. When we began business planning and doing our review of the fashion industry we found that approximately $17 billion dollars is spent on clothing in Canada alone each year, 84% of which goes completely un-recycled. That is an unbelievable amount of undiscovered wealth sitting in the closets of Canadians, that will either sit, consuming space for years, only to eventually head to the landfill (close to 12 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste ends up in North American landfills every year). At some point, we believe that consumers will begin to realize that buying better product (used or new) will last much longer (and carry significantly more brand cache) than purchasing disposable wears. With the stigma of buying gently used products dissipating (eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji have broken down these barriers), people are genuinely excited about our concept. Additionally, in a persistently tough economy, people are continually looking for ways to cut costs – without necessarily cutting back on things they value, such as brand perception and style.
The last piece we wanted to focus on was the concept of ‘wardrobe impact’. While relatively new to the ever-greening consumer mindset, it is a concept that ShopMyClothes has been preaching from the beginning. As eco footprints, with respect to clothing, grow exponentially, we are firm believers in the societal worth of recycling, reusing, and reselling your fashion items of yester-years. We are proponents of a new fashion cycle – make quality purchases of long-lasting, perpetually in-style items, and fund future purchases with sale of items as your tastes and fit change.
We think people are buying in. We are experiencing tremendous growth in our user base and site visits. People are eager to become a part of a more responsible purchasing community (and look good while doing it).