There is an expression for wanting to split the costs: going Dutch. The downside: it might not be very charming on your first date. But there’s a big upside: looking for ways to get the maximum out of your spendings. The Dutch word for that: ‘Zuinig’ (check the pronunciation online 😉 can mean two things: being a scrooge, or making sure things have their maximum longevity. Both can be a good motivation buying in a more sustainable way: making sure your money is well spent
For fashion that could mean:
- Having a low cost per wear (CPW = Total cost of the item / Number of days you’ll wear it
- Making sure you buy things of good quality
- Taking good care of your clothes (mending, fixing)
- Sharing & cherishing what you have
The last one is especially my favorite. To own something that you really cherish, for a period of time and when you don’t like it that much anymore, you can pass it on. On a small scale you could lend clothes to friends and get them back after a while. That works best with peers, people with similar size and style. Like my girlfriend I co-own some dresses with, there was a time when we would buy something together, and it would go back and forth in both our wardrobes: our friendrobe.
“Peer-to-peer garment sharing is the latest development in a sharing economy”
For me sharing has become a mindset: if a friend of mine compliments me on a piece I try to remember that and give her the piece when I don’t like it that much anymore. And as more people around me seem to grow the same mindset, different friends give me pre-loved items. “Friendrobes” offer a kind of communal wardrobe, established through the combined purchasing power of friendship groups. These shared collections are ideal for aspiring fashionistas who may not otherwise have the resources to achieve their clothing ambitions. It is not just about access to more clothes, but also about the conversations and experiences that are shared.
Sharing means that you will be wearing something with a story, like something precious you inherit. But that won’t work for everybody. Not everybody wants to wear somebody else’s story. It may be a burden if somebody gives you something that ‘will look really good on you’. And saying no (striving for a minimalist style household is one of my new competences) can be hard, so this route is not ideal if you don’t want to be clogged in hand me downs.
- So it may feel better if there’s something in return (as in: money or some other piece of clothing) so you can bring back what you lend.
- And it may feel better if it’s a bit more anonymous (as in: with a small story, or without a story) so a lending service can be really nice.
Luckily there’s a growing number of opportunities for people who want to lend, and not necessarily want to own, let me give you four inspiring examples:
• Lena, the fashion library in Amsterdam, a physical library, with an actual store, you just walk in, fit what you like, and lend it. Even buy it if you prefer, or just take it back and lend something else! Great concept!
• Rewear is the endless wardrobe online, to wear designer clothes and accessories owned by others! You participate by also adding your clothes to the wardrobe, and then lend a Chanel vintage bag (or whatever item you find) for a day or a weekend! You don’t have to buy it and bring it back, you can lend it!
• Sharewear is a Swedish initiative, of newly designed pieces you can borrow, but only if you share it forward. You can share the items through Instagram, with #sharewear and a geolocation, and give it to the first person who comments. I especially love the Instagram component, really curious how that works.
• At 46 dresses you can rent a dress for a special occasion, and support their foundation. With your support 46 Dresses gives a new dress to women who really need it. An inspiring example of how your dresses can make different people happy.
So let’s pass on some more stories!
This blog was written by Square1magazine and the amazing Jeannette Ooink from Awearness Fashion – check out their site for more info!