A new breed of wardrobe apps could help reduce fashion waste, by enabling people to make the most of the clothes they already own, swap clothing with people with similar tastes, and ensure that clothing is resold rather than sent to landfill.
The apps are part of a growing environmental movement against “fast fashion,” in which cheaply-made clothing is worn once or twice and then disposed of …
Fast fashion is a development that aims to enable anyone to wear something similar to the latest looks created by designer labels. While that might have felt like a democratic movement, bringing designer looks to ordinary people, the reality is rather different.
Because fast fashion is aimed at those who always want to be seen as on-trend, and it is ripping off designs from major labels, everything is geared to rapid production and low cost. Workers are badly paid, and the clothing is poorly made from cheap materials.
Clothing is also worn just a handful of times before being consigned to a landfill, creating a perfect environmental storm of over-consumption of resources with excess waste.
BBC News reports on wardrobe apps designed to counter the fast-fashion trend, and encourage people to wear the clothing they already own.
It’s long been known that most people have lots of clothing in their wardrobe that they never wear, often for no better reason than they’ve forgotten they own it. The US is one of the worst for this, according to one report, with more than 80% of clothing going unworn. Save Your Wardrobe is an app designed to address this.
Save Your Wardrobe is an app that allows users to manage their clothes by creating a digital version of every item in their wardrobe.
Via the app, garments are scanned, identified and stored virtually. Then the app can remind you of everything you own, with the hope of getting unworn clothes back into use.
It also connects people to local services such as a dry cleaners, places where they can donate no longer wanted items, and repair and alteration shops to extend the life of their garments.
Similar apps, like Stylebook, let you digitally combine clothing on your iPhone screen to see how they would look as an outfit, encouraging more flexible use of fewer items of clothing.
Stylebook is an expert wardrobe organization and closet management tool created by a fashion industry insider, who got her start as an intern in the Vogue fashion closet.
Import your actual clothes, create magazine-style outfits, plan what to wear, create packing lists and learn more about your wardrobe with statistics like cost per wear.
Apps like this can also help people adopt a more minimalist lifestyle. The concept of a “capsule wardrobe” is growing in popularity, where you mix and match a small number of quality clothing items to achieve different looks through classic looks that will last for a great many years.
Popswap is another app designed to reduce clothing consumption. It’s designed to match you to other users who share your size and tastes, then allow you to swap clothing to create new looks without the need to buy anything new.
By having access to each other’s wardrobes, inspiring each other, and having the opportunity to swap or borrow outfits and looks from friends, friends of friends, and new friends – we never have to buy a piece of clothing ever again.
Apps like these are going to play an increasing role in making the fashion industry more environmentally sustainable, believes Circular Earth founder Rachel Kan.
We need to be able to recirculate fashion in an effective and economic way, and fashion tech companies will be a really big part of that.
Photo: Amanda Vick/Unsplash