Singaporeans are a lucky bunch. We live in a shopper’s paradise where practically anything we want is available in stores or at the click of a button.
The environmental impact of fast fashion, however, has become an increasing concern amongst experts, as seen in a Nature Reviews Earth & Environment article published in Apr 2020.
Titled “The environmental price of fast fashion”, it concludes that impacts from the fashion industry include over 92 million tonnes of waste produced per year and 79 trillion litres of water consumed.
It goes on to outline the need for fundamental changes in the fashion business model, including “a deceleration of manufacturing and the introduction of sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, as well a shift in consumer behaviour—namely, decreasing clothing purchases and increasing garment lifetimes”.
Credit: Rio Lecatompessy/Unsplash
Give clothes a second life
If you love fashion but want to be sustainable, try pre-owned clothing and accessories. Look past old Chinese superstitions where owning second-hand goods were considered inauspicious—you can be part of the zero-waste initiative and be a more conscious consumer by shopping responsibly.
These four resale platforms and clothes swapping initiatives share the same goal, to extend the life of clothes and reduce waste while helping meet people’s desires for an updated, fashionable wardrobe. They are kind on your wallet too, as you may find designer brands at a fraction of their original price.
Credit: The Fashion Pulpit via Facebook
The Fashion Pulpit, located at Marina One, runs on a membership model ranging from one time swaps ($35 for up to eight pieces) to one-year of unlimited swapping. Clothing, accessories, bags and shoes of any size, brand and style are accepted as long as they are in good condition. You earn points which act as a budget towards your swapping basket. Other services offered include a personal styling session and repair services to help you bring your fashion item back to life.
Swapaholic’s first pop-up shop located at Orchard Central allows you to swap to your heart’s content. Officially opened on Oct 1, the shop plans to be around for a year. To start, select a time slot to drop off your items, or get your items picked up by selecting the optional pickup. Clothes and accessories (men’s and kids’ items are also accepted) must be in excellent condition without any no stains or tears, or they will be rejected. Pay $3.50 to $4.50 for each accepted item, which will in turn earn points that you can use to swap for items in the shop. You can also swap online on its website and have them delivered to you.
Credit: Cloop via Facebook
Judging by the overwhelming response to its fashion swaps, Cloop is definitely on the right track. It collects pre-loved clothing, curates and circulates them through various pop-ups around the island. Swap up to 10 pieces at $35 or you can just buy each item at $10. Only “clean, good and wearable” pieces will be accepted. Its upcoming Christmas Edition Swap on Dec 19 at Sprout Hub is already full but you can join the waitlist or walk in on the day itself. The next swap is on Jan 16, 2021 at Crane.
Credit: Refash via Facebook
Someone once described Refash as the “blogger’s clothing store”. It’s not surprising, considering you get many local brands such as Love, Bonito, The Closet Lover, Fayth and more. But don’t look down on them as there are plenty of steals and deals to be found. Shop online or at any of its nine stores around Singapore. As for your pre-loved clothes, drop them off any outlet or request a pickup and you’ll receive cash or credit within 30 days.
Credit: One Soul Many Stories via Facebook
Most of the clothes you’d find at fashion swaps are of the fast fashion kind—think H&M, Cotton On and Forever 21. These are the kind of brands this pop-up store avoids. Instead, you’ll find second-hand premium and luxury brands here such as Longchamp, Saint Laurent and yes, even Chanel. Other clothing brands include Isabel Marant, Maje, Massimo Dutti, COS, Comptoir des Cotonniers and many others. Visit its Facebook page or follow on Instagram for further updates.