When we have clothes that we no longer use or want, we have the options to throw them away, donate, sell, or keep them. But what if you don’t really feel like disposing of your clothing?
Apps. Utilize your smartphone and use apps, like the one from Whering (Clueless wardrobe app).
Recently, it has launched a new Caring Partners feature. It’ll make the lifecycle of your clothes longer because it allows users to browse a range of care, repair, and donation services.
So, users can put their wardrobe on the app and create a virtual closet. Not only that, they can find and book clothing services that suits their needs. For example, nearby eco-friendly dry-cleaning, natural laundry products, repurposing services, and ethical donation points.
Moreover, as users, we can send clothes that need repair or dry-cleaning directly to providers complete with saved preferences.
These are some of Whering’s partners that may interest you: Oxwash, an on-demand sustainable laundry, dry-cleaning, and ironing service which use advanced low-impact washing technology.
There’s also Sojo and The Seam, a vendor where you can alter, repair, and tailor clothing on-demand done by local seamstress. For preloved clothing, you can go to Thrift+, and as for sustainable detergents, fabric conditioners, and sprays, there’s Kair.
Moving away from fast fashion
According to the app, which has had over 30,000 downloads so far, this update aims to encourage the shift from fast fashion. So, consumers will look for more ethical and effective ways to prolong the life of clothing items they own.
According to research from Threadllp, covid lockdowns has made about 43% consumers care more about the quality of clothingn than before the pandemic. And, the dislike rate for clothing waste has increased by over 50%. So, during this time, more people want to prolong their items.
In a statement, Whering founder Bianca Rangecroft said, “We consume five times as much as we did in 2000 and use things 40 percent less. A big part of Whering’s mission is to help people buy less and wear more – and with that comes garment care as the best way to ensure long-lasting wardrobes that we love.
“Our users are redefining what it means to care for people and the planet – a green closet places extensive emphasis on looking after what you own; think repurposing, upcycling.
“For us, this is about creating a culture of caring for our clothes, by empowering our users to extend the life cycle of the garments they already own. A digital wardrobe opens up unlimited possibilities to integrate sustainable caring solutions that come straight to your door.”
Renting clothes more favored by young generation
The pandemic changes a lot of things, but maybe it’s not the only thing that can drive the shift from fast fashion or unsustainable wear. According to a new study from Washington State University researchers, Gen Z adults are interested in using apparel rental services to reduce overconsumption.
Corresponding author Ting Chi said, “The idea is growing more popular, especially among Gen Z consumers. They are very interested in sustainable consumerism, care about the environment, and are willing to make changes to help the planet.”
Chi and coauthors surveyed 362 adults born between 1997 and 2002 from across the United States. They discovered that the respondents were still into being fashionistas, but they’re not interested to own the product itself. They simply want to use them once or twice, likely for the photos or such.
“They’re more focused on usage. That increases a product’s lifecycle if it is worn by different people. It also reduces waste while still meeting consumer needs for variety.”
The study identified several factors that made clothing rental acceptable to Gen Z adults. According to Chi, the most important is the perceived effectiveness of making a difference. If consumers feel their effort will have an impact, they’re more likely to accept a change.
Using but not owning
As mentioned, Gen Z prefers to use but not own. “They would get newer products more frequently than if they own an item. The desire to get more new articles of clothing made it more likely that they would try rental services,” Chi said.
Even though renting isn’t a novelty (we’ve been renting formal wear for the longest time), doing it on daily clothing is not. So, we can say that the shift to sustainable wear is a bit of a major change.
Chi said, “That’s why we started by talking with Gen Z. They’re more willing to adapt to changes, and doing so to help the environment makes it even more appealing.”
To give you an idea of how major this is, US consumer sent over 17 million tons of textiles to landfills in 2018. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that’s an increase from around 13 million tons in 2009 and 9.4 million tons in 2000.
“We’re wasting too many textiles. Americans are buying an average of 67 clothing items every year, but how many do we really need?
“They’re inexpensive but cause real environmental damage. We need to make an individual effort to help the environment and one way to help is bringing in a sharing economy,” Chi said.
In the future, Chi and his team plan to continue their research by surveying other generations.
The collab to close the gap between rental & resale
On a related note, you can start to do a collab like this to push sustainable clothing or close the circular fashion loop. Fashion rental platform Hurr works hand-in-hand with community marketplace Depop to steer consumers away from overconsumption. Their way? Bridging the gap between rental and resale.
Their collab is called The Loop—pretty self explanatory there, in general. So, Hurr’s collection of popular pre-rented designer items from well-known labels is available to buy via Depop.
Hurr’s CEO Victoria Prew said that this collab also wants to ensure clothes being kept out of landfills and find a second life through resale.
Other than that, this collab also aims to encourage more mindful fashion consumption. So, it offers communities a chance to own some of Hurr’s most popular rental items at up to 80% off their original selling price.
Depop head of sustainability Justine Porterie said, “We’re excited to be the first resale platform that Hurr has partnered with on the next step of their circular journey.
“Both resale and rental have a role to play in reshaping fashion consumption and making the industry more circular. We believe in helping to keep items in circulation as long as possible, keeping clothes that already exist passing from person to person.
“At Depop, we want to be able to give people opportunities to dress differently everyday with unique fashion, but a smaller footprint. That’s the future of fashion.”