Issued on: Modified:
Singaporean Sue-Anne Chng used to put on a distinct outfit on all 15 days of the Lunar New Yr, when it’s customary to don new garments to symbolise a recent begin.
However this yr she’s going to put on second-hand objects exchanged for her previous garments at a retailer catering to individuals involved in regards to the influence of quick vogue on the surroundings.
A number of swapping initiatives, from everlasting outlets to pop-up occasions, have appeared within the prosperous city-state in a bid to encourage shoppers to profit from what’s already of their closets.
The style trade is accountable for as much as a tenth of worldwide carbon emissions, in response to the United Nations’ surroundings programme.
Garments trigger emissions in all kinds of how — from their manufacture to transportation and washing by the buyer.
On a current journey to her favorite retailer, The Style Pulpit, Chng took alongside a number of attire and an identical shirt and skirt, which a employees member assessed earlier than crediting factors to her account.
She spent her factors on 17 objects, together with a yellow and inexperienced gown to put on for the primary day of the brand new yr because it regarded like “an auspicious pineapple”.
The fruit, seen as an emblem of prosperity, is often given as a present or displayed throughout Lunar New Yr in Singapore.
– ‘Insane consumption’ –
“I’ve all the time been introduced up by my mother and father to have a brand new set of garments each Chinese language New Yr, and I fell into that behaviour of consumerism,” the 35-year-old informed AFP.
“Prior to now I most likely made certain I’ve 15 days of outfits even when I am not visiting (family), which is an excessive amount of.”
However now, “so long as the merchandise is new to me, I feel it is adequate,” added Chng, who works for a tech firm and is married.
Chng first learnt about garments swapping at a piece occasion 5 years in the past, and determined to alter her methods after realising her wardrobe was crammed with unworn objects.
“Previous to switching over to swapping, my consumption behavior was insane,” she mentioned.
“I realised I had greater than 50 p.c of my wardrobe unworn, however I nonetheless felt like I did not have something to put on.”
She pays Sg$599 (US$450) for a yearly membership at The Style Pulpit, which permits her limitless swaps and visits — about 80 p.c of her wardrobe is now from the store.
“Swapping permits me to be like a chameleon on the subject of vogue however permits me to be environmentally acutely aware as properly,” she mentioned.
Tiny Singapore alone produced 168,000 tonnes of textile and leather-based waste in 2019, in response to authorities — the burden of greater than 400 Boeing 747 planes.
– ‘Not soiled, not dusty’ –
Filipino garments designer Raye Padit based The Style Pulpit almost three years in the past after studying about his trade’s influence on the surroundings and poor remedy of garment employees.
“In Singapore, the issue is overconsumption and waste,” he informed AFP.
“We need to present a platform the place you possibly can nonetheless gown up, specific your self… via garments. However on the identical time, it is not damaging to the planet and to your pockets.”
His firm now has greater than 1,500 members and has began turning a revenue. It additionally holds workshops the place prospects can learn to mend or upcycle used garments.
Individuals have swapped the whole lot from informal garments made by high-street manufacturers to top-end objects reminiscent of Prada baggage and Louboutin sneakers, Padit mentioned.
One-time swap occasions are additionally popping up within the city-state whereas a gaggle of volunteers host month-to-month swap gatherings.
“Once I be part of a clothes swap it jogs my memory to devour consciously as a result of once I give away garments, I take into consideration whether or not I am nonetheless sporting them,” mentioned Nadia Kishlan, a 30-year-old participant at one clothes swap.
Challenges stay in persuading Singaporeans to swap moderately than store, nonetheless, and town’s trade continues to be in its infancy.
Second-hand outlets usually are not as standard in Asia as within the West, partially as a result of many imagine used garments from strangers may convey unhealthy luck, or be unhygienic.
However Padit mentioned attitudes in Singapore have been altering, pushed by rising environmental consciousness and a wave of stylish new thrift outlets advertising their items on social media.
“It is slowly altering the notion of what second hand is all about,” he mentioned.
“It is not soiled, it is not dusty — it is a cool factor.”
© 2021 AFP