August 12, 2021 6 min read
"Fashion fades, style is eternal" - Yves Saint Laurent
We’ve all heard this oft-used quote, coined by illustrious French fashion designer YSL. It has transformed our outlook on fashion and given the garments we wear a whole new meaning. Be that as it may, wouldn’t it be amazing to have your cake and eat it too?
Remember how gutted you were when you found out your favourite leather jacket had an unseemly ripple down the front, or your beautiful gold earrings didn’t beam quite as brightly as they used to? What follows is a heart-rending saga of bin-bagging your favourites - thinking of the money you spent, the memories you had in them, and more importantly how stunning they made you feel.
There is another way. Calling all fashion lovers out there! Don’t toss out your clothing and accessories just yet. Today, we’re sharing our top tips on how to sustain your favourite items well past their prime. You may not be able to do this alone. That’s why we’re also bringing in the experts to help us on our venture. Trust us, this is one of the most important blog posts you’ll read.
Ready? Let's hop right in!
Did you know - According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, the average person in Canada disposes of 81 pounds of textile every single year. An even more astounding statistic, BBC found that most contemporary fashion manufacturers use non-renewable resources like petroleum to create clothes that last for a short period, only to end up in a landfill or an incinerator. This puts a tremendous strain on your wallet and the environment.
As we’re moving to a more environmentally conscious world, sustainability is one of the driving forces here at Secret Location. We do our part for the environment so that you can do yours. Here are a few tips to get you started.
A little research goes a long way. When you purchase a sustainable item, you’re passing on the benefit to every single person across the supply chain. This translates to fair and ethical work practices and fewer illegal sweatshops. It also breaks the endless cycle of pollution with its low-impact processes and sustainably grown materials.
This initiative is rendered all the more important given just 1% of fashion and footwear is recyclable according to Globe News Wire. That is an abysmal number! This inevitably contributes to 8.1% of the world’s greenhouse emissions as pointed out by Quantis.
Thankfully, things are looking up. 61% of luxury fashion shoppers admitted that sustainability is a huge factor when making buying decisions as per Statista. We must stay mindful of this global push for sustainability and manifest it in all aspects of our lives.
We strongly recommend buying from brands that use quality materials. These are naturally durable, meaning you can easily prolong their lifespan with simple precautions.Quality fabrics for your apparel - Organic linen leads the list. It is incredibly supple and can be re-worn, reused and recycled, keeping it far away from the clutches of your local landfill. Organic and recycled cotton and hemp are also good buys. Although these are not completely sustainable as they use a lot of water in production, Vogue found that they still use 91% less water than regular cotton and hemp. Regular cotton is also grown with harmful pesticides that deeply affect its durability.
Quality materials for your homewares - When shopping for home decor items, furniture, china and the likes, think about naturally sourced materials. Some of our top favourites are bamboo, rattan, seagrasses, salvaged wood, and porcelain.
Quality materials for your jewelry - Titanium heads this list. It's a 100% recyclable eco-friendly material. Titanium is known for its high tensile strength and corrosion-resistant properties. Stainless steel is another excellent green raw material to consider. Gold is a specifically popular choice because the current gold mining processes are far more sustainable than their contemporaries. Gold is also very scratch-resistant and doesn’t tarnish easily.
Wbur found that even extending the lifespan of your clothing by 9 months could lead to a 20 to 30% decrease in our carbon, water and waste footprints. Swear by the instructions on the label of your apparel. The very first thing to look for is whether your items require dry cleaning or home washing. But do not dry clean too often. The process uses harsh chemicals that are bad for the fabric and the environment.
Try using cold water over hot water as hot water can cause your clothes to wrinkle, shrink and permanently fade. Another crucial tip? Do not wash after every wear. Not only does that weaken the fabric, but the average residential washer uses 41 gallons per load which puts a huge strain on our resources. Wear each piece at least two or three times before it hits the wash. The exception to this would, of course, be workout items that require more frequent attention.
When treating stains, steer clear of harsh chemicals and bleach. It’s best to carry a stain pen with you to immediately treat those pesky food and wine blotches that would otherwise sink into the fabric within minutes.
After each use, let your clothing breathe on a hanger for at least 12 hours. The most important rule of clothing storage: steer clear of confined spaces and overexposure to light. For instance, if you were to keep your clothing in your basement or bathroom, the high moisture levels would encourage rapid bacteria growth, completely ruining the fabric.
Even as you hang your clothes side by side, make sure they are spaced out to avoid premature wrinkling and fading. For more expensive items like party dresses or suits, store them in a breathable canvas bag to prolong their lifespan. As for the heavier stuff; sweaters and denims, opt for folding instead of hanging as the heavy material will eventually cause them to droop and lose shape.
When it comes to your jewellery, the same rules apply. Your best bet is a multi-level jewellery box to protect your items from scuffing against each other. Always store these at room temperature and away from direct sunlight to avoid tarnishing the metal.
Even with the best care in the world, you need a little professional help to keep your favourite fashions in tip-top shape. Searching for repair and maintenance services can be tricky especially when these aren’t provided under one roof. Secret Location is in a wish-granting mood today.
Introducing our Enhanced Services Program! We’ve partnered with the top fashion service providers in Vancouver to help you care for your clothing and accessories.
See our full list of Enhanced Services.
Fashion is only fun when you do it your way.
That initial feeling of elation when you spot a gorgeous handbag in the store or find a sultry pair of earrings should last a lifetime. We want to make sure you live out a truly fulfilling style journey.
Our key takeaway? Focus on high-quality, sustainable pieces that can easily go the distance even with the basic level of care. When making a conscious effort to shop a sustainable brand, you are championing materials that are built to last and processes that are backed by ethical supply chains.
Of course, even with the best care, your clothing and accessories call for a little professional intervention from time to time. Don’t shy away from a dry cleaning appointment or a timely leather jacket refurbishing. Even the smallest ripples or tears could lead to irreversible damage later on. A stitch in time saves nine.
And with that, we wish you a safe and sustainable shopping experience!