Header image courtesy of @carolyncarter (via Style Carousel Facebook)
Like a ray of sunlight piercing through the grey clouds after a storm, the thought of wearing designer fashion is starting to stir in the minds of many now that lockdown has lifted. Frankly, it’s a welcome change from the pyjama-themed wardrobe of 2020. But as restrictions lift, some shoppers are starting to think more critically about the clothes they buy and the brands who make them.
This reflection is mainly because COVID-19 has been more than a physical quarantine for many—it’s been a “quarantine of consumption habits,” a much-needed awakening. Spurred on by awareness created on social media about the problematic social and environmental policies of top fashion brands, conscious consumers are looking to support brands that stand for more than just beautiful clothing. This is where sustainable fashion comes in.
In a nutshell, sustainable means producing fashion in an ecological and environmentally-friendly manner. For example, think of the waste that fashion houses produce. The fashion industry was struggling long before COVID-19 hit; with sales down across the board, many tough calls have been made. Dozens of brands like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus have even declared bankruptcy, while others have been left to deal with excessive unsold inventory.
Some brands have resorted to over-discounting their pieces to clear the excessive stock, while others have turned to the unsavoury practices of polluting landfills with unsold inventory or even incinerating it. Not only does this damage the environment, but it also wastes the large amounts of energy resources and water put into producing the clothing in the first place.
Sustainable fashion addresses the industry’s toll on the environment in a number of ways. Some brands use technology that minimises their carbon footprint or use sustainable materials such as recyclable or organic materials that don’t require chemical fertilisers. Other brands have adopted a circular model, aimed at eliminating waste by reusing and recycling resources. Some luxury brands have even begun partnering with fashion rental services to combat their excess inventory by using it in the sharing economy.
In an unexpected way, COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to be introspective and to critically assess what’s important to us when we buy. For those who wish to live a conscious lifestyle, it’s important to ask yourself: What are the values of the brands I support? As the world learns more about climate change, Hongkongers are also growing more environmentally conscious, choosing brands that reflect their personal values. In this way, you can play your part in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time even as you shop.
Perhaps you still want to wear that designer brand you’ve been eyeing for so long. Instead of spending a fortune on a piece you’re really only going to wear a couple of times, why not consider a premier sustainable fashion rental service? Style Carousel is a new Hong Kong start-up offering one-time clothing, bag, and accessory rentals as well as an innovative monthly subscription to designer fashion called StylePass. Women can rent clothing for any occasion, such as casual daywear, evening dresses, and even bridal gowns.
Not only do you save money with Style Carousel, but you can also be a conscious consumer by supporting this model of sustainable fashion. It’s a win-win for both consumers and brands: brands can utilise their unsold stock, while women benefit from an off-price option that also helps them reduce carbon footprint, and combats over-consumption all in one fell swoop.
This time around, Style Carousel is partnering with Emma Wallace, the latest in a growing movement of A-list designers offering their pieces through rental. Her designs are loved by celebrities, including Coco Rocha, Rosie Fortescue, and Bip Ling, and have long been celebrated for its East-meets-West aesthetics. Emma Wallace’s partnership with Style Carousel ensures that women looking to save money on designer clothing while being mindful of the environment are able to rent their favourite pieces.
Aren’t sure you want to commit yet? Try the snazzy collection and more with a free trial of StylePass today. With the increasing demand for such a service, the team is expanding its listings of designer items every day, from Balenciaga to Chanel to Off-White. Indulge responsibly in your wildest designer brand dreams today—what are you waiting for?