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Singaporean Sue-Anne Chng used to put on a distinct outfit on all 15 days of the Lunar New 12 months, 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However this yr she’s going to put on second-hand objects exchanged for her outdated garments at a retailer catering to individuals involved concerning the affect of quick trend on the setting.
A number of swapping initiatives, from everlasting retailers 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 business is answerable for as much as a tenth of worldwide carbon emissions, in response to the United Nations’ setting programme.
Garments trigger emissions in all kinds of how — from their manufacture to transportation and washing by the buyer.
On a latest journey to her favorite retailer, The Style Pulpit, Chng took alongside a number of clothes and an identical shirt and skirt, which a workers member assessed earlier than crediting factors to her account.
She spent her factors on 17 objects, together with a yellow and inexperienced costume to put on for the primary day of the brand new yr because it regarded like “an auspicious pineapple”.
The fruit, seen as a logo of prosperity, is often given as a present or displayed throughout Lunar New 12 months in Singapore.
– ‘Insane consumption’ –
“I’ve at all times been introduced up by my dad and mom to have a brand new set of garments each Chinese language New 12 months, and I fell into that behaviour of consumerism,” the 35-year-old advised AFP.
“Up to now I in all probability made positive I’ve 15 days of outfits even when I am not visiting (relations), which is an excessive amount of.”
However now, “so long as the merchandise is new to me, I believe 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 vary her methods after realising her wardrobe was stuffed with unworn objects.
“Previous to switching over to swapping, my consumption behavior was insane,” she mentioned.
“I realised I had greater than 50 % 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 % of her wardrobe is now from the store.
“Swapping permits me to be like a chameleon in relation to trend however permits me to be environmentally 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 load 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 business’s affect on the setting and poor remedy of garment staff.
“In Singapore, the issue is overconsumption and waste,” he advised AFP.
“We need to present a platform the place you may nonetheless costume up, categorical your self… by means of garments. However on the similar time, it isn’t 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 clients can learn to mend or upcycle used garments.
Folks have swapped every part from informal garments made by high-street manufacturers to top-end objects corresponding to Prada baggage and Louboutin footwear, Padit mentioned.
One-time swap occasions are additionally popping up within the city-state whereas a bunch of volunteers host month-to-month swap gatherings.
“After I be a part of a clothes swap it jogs my memory to eat consciously as a result of once I give away garments, I take into consideration whether or not I am nonetheless carrying them,” mentioned Nadia Kishlan, a 30-year-old participant at one clothes swap.
Challenges stay in persuading Singaporeans to swap relatively than store, nevertheless, and the town’s business continues to be in its infancy.
Second-hand retailers are usually not as in style in Asia as within the West, partly as a result of many imagine used garments from strangers might carry dangerous 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 retailers advertising and marketing 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