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War of The Wardrobes

Australians are drowning in unwanted and unworn clothing items. 104 items are left unworn in our wardrobes, costing $1.7 billion a year, according to The Clothing Exchange. A company who encourage us to swap our clothes when they are no longer worn or wanted.

The Wardrobe Workshop and Swap/Style/Snap Shop hosted by The Clothing Exchange celebrates 10 years working with Melbourne Fashion Festival.



From left to right: Linn Vikander, Mat Ekstrom, Fabia Pryor, Cheryl Lin, Sigrid McCarthy, Violette Snow and Kate Luckins. Photo by: Alison Foletta

In this workshop we discuss sustainable fashion, to invest in our own style and to refine and develop our wardrobe into only what we love and really wear.

Panellists for the Wardrobe Workshop include founder of The Clothing Exchange Kate Luckins with Linn Vikander, Cheryl Lin of Business Chic, founders of Hessian Magazine Violette Snow and Sigrid McCarthy, Fabia Pryor a sustainability consultant and slow fashion retailer Mats Ekström.

The panel’s discussion about slow and fast fashion jolt one into thinking, how much did I spend on clothes I don’t wear? What am I trying to prove?

The panel speak about the current trend of fast fashion and why we can allow ourselves to be drowning in wardrobes and “floordrobes” but only wear about 20% of what we own.

Intense emotional connections to a piece of cloth, willing ourselves towards a lifestyle or a person that may never happen, being unhappy with what we have and who we are now.
Slow fashion, rather than a trend, is more of a lifestyle. We are investing in ourselves, not just our wardrobes. We need to slow down and think about what we bring into our lives.
Say it with me “I am worth more than a Kmart t shirt.”

The actually swap part of this event is interesting to say the least. Sitting through an hour-long panel about slow fashion and being selective about what you want in your wardrobe, about 50 women tear through hundreds of items in less than 10 minutes.
The Swap itself after the panel. Photo by: Alison Foletta

I wonder if anyone else saw the irony in that? What are we fighting so hard for? The world to see us in a certain way, one we believe we cannot possibly have without a certain look.

Sustainable fashion or slow fashion is a long process. Imagining my own two wardrobes right now and it becoming a sleek minimalist 10-piece selection seems impossible. Passing up those $30 H&M jumpers and saving for a singular, expensive, organic, made from mermaid tears jumper? That is hard to cope with.

It is a “war” with the wardrobe. Shaking my retail therapy habit and using logic and research to have an adult, well utilised wardrobe? Madness.

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