It’s getting to that time of year when we unearth our cold weather wears as skin-out season draws to a close. Such seasonal transitions often serve as the perfect excuse for an all-out wardrobe update, prompted by the boredom we feel confronting our old clothes and the relentless treadmill of trends forced upon us by fast fashion brands where things go ‘out of style’ before they’ve even properly marinated in shop windows.
Collectively, we’re becoming more aware of how harmful these cycles can be, yet the pressure to keep up with the times, not be an outfit repeater and always serve looks hasn’t disappeared, it’s just been compounded by an additional pressure to shop ‘sustainably’. It’s common sense that we can’t consume our way out of the climate crisis but the sustainability practices adopted by many fast fashion and midrange retailers puts the onus on us as shoppers, by presenting us with things like PLT Marketplace, where we’re supposed to swap worn, unwanted, highly plastified pieces for other such garments that might last a couple months before the quality betrays them or they’re ran off the trend treadmill entirely.
This leaves those of us who are as fashion conscious as we are climate conscious, with very few options when it comes to refreshing our collections in time for a new season but all is not lost. Instead of splurging on new cardigans and turtlenecks that look suspiciously like ones you already own, consider building a capsule wardrobe; a collection of high quality, highly interchangeable essentials that you can look and feel cute in all year round. Sort through what you already have and earmark your reliable faves that form the base of all your best outfits and think about all the different combinations and ways you can wear them. Keep things fresh and fun by investing in elegant, eye-catching accessories, like a Hajar Hajji handbag or a pair of statement earrings from Hello Zephyr.
Accessories take up less space and tend to be the more cherished (and longer lasting) items in our wardrobes and the right one can elevate an old outfit so much that it feels brand new, just as shopping with the right brands can remove the guilt of feeding into harmful production pipelines. To help you get the ball rolling, we’re introducing two women-run accessory brands who consider the climate so that you don’t have to.
Hajar Hajji is a sustainable handbag label founded by the 30-year-old CEO of the same name. Hailing from a small town in Morocco the now Paris-based designer grew up around women who were constantly creating. Her grandma was a weaver who specialised in traditional Moroccan rugs, while her aunt made basket bags and her mother made knitwear. Hajar, however, found her love in handbags and each one of her bags is handmade out of ethically-sourced, vegetable-tanned leather. The brand’s signature silhouettes are classic and simple with designs available in a bold range of colours, perfect for adding extra sauce to a toned down look.
Jewellery brand, Hello Zephyr was founded by Gabriela Marasachin. Born and raised in Brazil, Gabriela lived many lives before settling into her calling as a designer of Artisan jewellery. Throughout the many phases of her life the one thing that has always remained constant for Gabriela is an affinity with the natural world which she now honours through Hello Zephyr jewellery, using muted colours and abstract shapes to evoke natural landscapes and phenomena . Hello Zephyr is a small, family business working to create durable products produced ethically and sustainably at a home studio in the French Alps. They are dedicated to “organic and conscious growth.” Gabriela prioritises work with local suppliers and manufacturers, releases products in small batches and works on a made-to-order system to avoid overproduction. They pride themselves on being thoughtful when it comes to managing raw materials, keeping waste at an absolute minimum and they also invested in environmental and social programs.