When it comes to disrupting fashion’s waste cycle and shifting to more circular consumption methods, buying secondhand and renting have been heralded as the way forward.
But what the industry’s sustainability narrative likely won’t do is fully advocate to consumers that what’s even better than conscious consumption is zero consumption. This means buying nothing new — even if said purchases are upcycled or secondhand — working with what’s already in one’s closet and expanding clothing’s life cycle by way of repairs and alterations.
To encourage more consumers to go the way of zero consumption, a host of new platforms are now looking to make clothing repairs more accessible for the online generation and offer an antidote to throwaway culture.
In London, Josephine Philips founded the Sojo app at the beginning of the year as a way of offering an inexpensive, fuss-free way for Londoners to repair their clothing.
She created a network of tailors and seamstresses across the British capital, as well as more than 50 female riders — in an effort to create more jobs for women during the pandemic — who pickup and deliver clothing to and from customers’ homes.
The industry’s biggest secondhand players, Vestiaire Collective among them, are also recognizing the importance of extending garments’ life cycles — even if that means customers purchase less — and incorporating repairs services into their offer.