Handbags - Feature Article

How Xupes is promoting a circular luxury fashion industry

Sustainable fashion has been hitting the headlines recently, and it’s no surprise. The movement is going from strength to strength, and has a whole host of benefits. From limiting waste to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the pros of making more conscious, sustainable choices are almost too many to count, which is why we are committed to promoting a more circular luxury fashion industry.

In fact, we’re embracing the sustainable fashion movement so much that we’ve organised our very own event in collaboration with influencer Emma Hill; a fellow lover of all things vintage and champion of more eco-friendly fashion choices. Emma has hand-selected her favourite thirty pre-loved handbags from our collection to feature in ‘The Sustainable Edit’ which will be available to shop from the 14th of October to the 13th of December. We will also be hosting an event to give us a chance to open a conversation about sustainable fashion with industry professionals and Emma on the 23rd of October.

Emma Hill - Xupes Christian Dior Saddle bag

Find out more about the Xupes x Emma Hill event and ‘The Sustainable Edit’, and discover how you can do your bit for the environment by buying pre-loved designer fashion. 

What is sustainable fashion?

The concept of sustainable fashion is made up of a lot of different things, with the main aim being to reduce the impact the fashion industry has on the planet. According to The Sunday Times, 300,000 tonnes of textiles ended up in landfill in 2016, with Brits throwing away £12.5 billion worth of clothes. The study found that on average, people threw away eight items each, with many admitting that the garments were in perfectly good condition. 

This culture of “throwaway” or “fast” fashion has serious consequences for the environment, which champions of the sustainable fashion movement are attempting to tackle. Sustainable fashion involves thinking much more about the choices we make when buying clothes, trying to make more environmentally-conscious decisions that will have less of a negative impact on the planet.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is the term used to describe items of clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories that are made at low cost and sold cheaply. Most high street shops are sellers of fast fashion items, with new stock constantly arriving to replace older stock. Fast fashion is incredibly trend-led, with brands aiming to sell the must-have items of the season. 

This high demand for new stock causes a great deal of environmental issues. Toxic chemicals in clothing dyes pollute water sources, manufacturing methods lead to more plastic finding its way into the ocean, and huge amounts of water and pesticides are used in cotton production. What’s more, once the clothes are made (usually in developing countries where labour costs are cheap) they need to be transported around the world to stores, adding to global CO2 emissions. 

textile waste

The benefits of sustainable fashion

There are loads of benefits of sustainable fashion. From reducing the amount of waste created each year to cutting down the amounts of pollutants entering the atmosphere, making the effort to be more sustainable with your clothing choices really makes a difference. 

It’s good for the environment

This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of being more sustainable. As it currently stands, textile production emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases each year - that’s more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. However, if there’s less of a demand for fast fashion, supply will decrease, meaning less chemicals and less toxins polluting the water and air. 

It’s much more ethical

Reducing the demand for fast fashion by choosing more sustainable options will also help to lessen the need for huge factories to mass-produce clothes and accessories. A more sustainable fashion industry is a more ethical one - from the responsible farming of cotton to improving working conditions. Making the effort to research “fair fashion” will give you an idea of where to shop if you’re looking to buy items that support a more ethical fashion industry.

How to be more sustainable

When talking about what people can do to be more sustainable, Stella McCartney said: “We have to have a conversation where people feel that they can do little things in their life every day. And you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style or your quality of life.”

While doing little things won’t seem like a lot, they all add up. Reducing your impact on the environment is surprisingly easy - there are loads of small changes we can make to ensure that the future of fashion is more sustainable.

Stella McCartney

Buy less fast fashion

One of the easiest ways to do your bit for the environment in terms of fashion is to buy less fast fashion. Reducing the demand for fast fashion will hopefully start to send a message to brands to focus on more sustainable, eco-friendly options. 

Choose quality over quantity

Where cheaply made items deteriorate quickly, luxury items have much more longevity. The superior craftsmanship, materials and attention to detail means that designer pieces hugely outlast pieces that have been mass-produced. Making an investment in a luxury piece, like a designer handbag, that you’ll keep forever is far more sustainable than buying several cheap pieces and replacing them when they wear out. Even though the price point will be higher, you’ll have a well-made piece that you’ll always love, and it might even save you money in the long run.

Buy pre-loved over new

To be even more eco-friendly, try buying pre-loved or vintage items. As these items are not new, there has been no additional manufacturing process, meaning no harm to the environment. It also reduces the amount of waste created, as you are buying an item someone may have thrown away otherwise. By selling pre-loved items, we are able to promote a more circular approach to fashion, encouraging people to give a new lease of life to a vintage or pre-loved piece of luxury fashion as a more sustainable alternative to buying new.

Embrace vintage fashion

Although the rise in fast fashion has meant quality and craftsmanship has deteriorated in recent years, it wasn’t always the case. Shopping for vintage clothing and accessories is a great way to ensure better quality in the things you’re buying. Vintage items have typically been made on a much smaller scale, with more care and attention spent on making sure they were sturdy and durable. Before today’s culture of fast fashion, people usually bought far less and re-wore what they had much more - meaning vintage clothes were built to last.

Want to know more?

Look out for the second part of our sustainability series to find out more about our event in collaboration with Emma Hill. We’ll be giving all of the details from the day, as well as a run down of Emma’s hand-selected collection of her favourite pre-loved designer handbags.