A New Era Of Style

  • Subscribe
  • Converted prices are for reference only - all orders are charged in £ Pounds Sterling GBP.
  • Cart (0)
The REV Girls On Fast Fashion

The REV Girls On Fast Fashion

Four members of our team share their motivations for ditching fast fashion in favour of honest luxury, their favourite REV investments to date, and how they go about consuming clothing in a way that considers both the purse and the planet.

What got you into sustainable fashion?

Grace

Even being as young as 8 the idea of going to the shops and buying a new outfit for an upcoming birthday party filled me with excitement. This feeling of instant satisfaction following the purchase of a new item of clothing featured through most of my teenage and early 20s.  Choosing to study Fashion Retail and Marketing at university I was immersed in the fast fashion world. As a student my habits of going online and ordering a new top for an upcoming night out (with next day delivery of course) continued. It was only when I moved to Hong Kong as part of my year abroad that I really woke up to the devastating effects of the fast fashion industry. Whilst the lack of ethics in the fast fashion industry was unsettling to me, I had previously struggled to attach my clothes to the people who made them until I visited a denim factory in China and witnessed garment production first hand.

'That instant rush of excitement you get from clicking ‘confirm order’ is not sustainable.'

 With shopping malls around every corner (all which were open until the late hours of the evening) I was overwhelmed by how much just one city was consuming. Around the same time I watched a documentary about minimalism which emphasised the fact that having numerous material items does not result in happiness. That instant rush of excitement you get from clicking ‘confirm order’ is not sustainable. Not sustainable for happiness and not sustainable for people and the planet.

Romane

Being a student in a business school and living in big cities made me realize how much appearance is important nowadays; it is like we have to prove to others we are cool enough to change our outfit everyday. In a society where everything is concentrated on making profits, I must admit my concerns were more about my style and the prices than about how my clothes have been made. However, after changing my food habits a few years ago, I began to question my lifestyle more and more and started thinking differently about the products I buy and why I buy them. I watched several documentaries and interviews- such as The True Cost, Stella McCartney and activists interviews. I realized I am very lucky and I started finding happiness in simple things.  Having a more sustainable, ethical and conscious approach made me realize I wanted to work in a sustainable business in order to make the World a better place to live in through sustainable fashion. Playing my part in this industry to make it more “green” is very enriching as I believe in respect for people and the planet.

Arkitaip
SHOP NOW

Nancy

I hate to admit that in my teens, the price tag was my only real concern when buying clothing.  I’d reluctantly put that tasselled, sequinned, polyester-lined number back on its hanger, simply because my logic told me that £29.99 was ‘a bit steep’ for something I’d get dirty at a festival.  My purchases were usually occasion-based, and little to no thought went into how often they’d get worn, let alone where they’d been made.  It was only during the first year of my Fashion Marketing degree that I came to terms with the unhealthy and vastly un-glamorous side of the industry.  The documentary ‘Clothes To Die For’ that I was required to watch really opened my eyes to the practices we Western consumers are so sheltered from. The graphic imagery of the Rana Plaza collapse and its victims just struck a nerve, and made me feel a tremendous level of guilt, not only for my vacuous shopping habits, but also for choosing to immerse myself in a field responsible for such extreme yet concealed exploitation. My studies also drew my attention to the environmental impact of the materials and dyes that keep fast fashion ‘alive’, as well as the very topical issue of greenwashing. Needless to say, I soon realised that sustainability and ethics were very much my calling.

Isabel

Since a young age, I predominantly expressed myself through my style… even in that phase when I wore a checkered school uniform to a dress-code-less institution (#it’scalledfashion). But usually my style meant hitting the mall to keep up with the latest trends in the States. That was until my older, trendier sister moved to Denmark to begin conducting PR for Copenhagen Fashion Summit. In America, the light upon sustainable fashion proceeded the big movements underway in Scandi countries but that offered me an opportunity to delve into what sustainable fashion really meant. Whether she was discussing Tiffany’s sustainable-mining techniques on the radar or the popular second-hand clothing culture in CPH, I wanted ‘in.’

'Usually my style meant hitting the mall to keep up with the latest trends in the States.'

I knew I wanted to work in the fashion world in some way but as a Christian, it rivalled my responsibility to do selfless, charitable work that gave me a deeper satisfaction than the perfect outfit. Studying Global Affairs at King’s College where I could gain a better understanding of the society’s at the root of the supply chain helps me connect the dots of what ‘cotton’ ‘made in Uzbekistan’ means in the wider picture and the field of sustainable fashion encourages me and provokes me to do something about it.

E.L.V.
SHOP NOW

How do you avoid buying fast fashion?

Grace

I think what is most important is to make considered purchases and purchase less often. I often remind myself that I actually don’t need any new clothes and think ‘would this item really add value to my life?’. It’s an obvious one, but I really love thrifting from charity shops (especially those in affluent areas of London). Most of my coats are thrifted, none which cost me more than £50. I know charity shops aren’t for everyone and some people find them a bit gross. I read somewhere that at least 200 hands come into contact with the (new) clothes we buy from shops so what does it matter if one more person has worn a coat before you!

Nancy

Since engaging in the world of sustainability, my desire to buy new things all the time has faded significantly.  It was a gradual process that began with me scrutinising the label of every prospective top, dress and pair of jeans, only to abandon them after finding no evidence to suggest they were made ethically or sustainably. Now, the thought of mindlessly wandering through aisles of mass produced clothing is just so exhausting and unappealing that the temptation isn’t even there.

'It was a gradual process that began with me scrutinising labels.'

Second-hand shopping is the best antidote to the high-street in my opinion, because it allows you to make reasonably priced purchases without supporting the wasteful fast-fashion industry. It’s also much more fun in the sense that it feels a bit like a treasure hunt. If I want something specific, my first port of call is usually Depop – a merge of eBay and instagram for those who aren’t familiar. I’m also quite shameless when it comes to borrowing clothes, particularly from my mum, who has great taste and generously allows me to raid her wardrobe whenever I’m home.

Romane

As a consumer, buying only sustainable clothing might be a bit tricky as the word ‘sustainable’ is sometimes misused, especially by companies who unfortunately, all to often see it as a marketing tool.  I believe that the most effective first step is to consider who made your clothes before you buy them – something that I always do when I’m looking to update my wardrobe. Choosing items that are timeless and will endure many seasons is also  a great way to ensure that you are not contributing to the disposable nature of fast fashion.

 

Isabel

Since I started working in sustainable fashion, I simply don’t even consider walking down Oxford Street to give high-street, fast fashion the time of day. People say walking around Oxford Circus x amount of time a day equivalates to smoking a pack of cigarettes, so this shift feels like killing two birds with one stone in my book! On the other hand, I would consider myself a loyal seller and customer of Vestiaire Collective where I love hunting out vintage, pre-worn pieces. I think it is important to invest in the circular economy that sustainable fashion is trying to impress upon the greater community and I am prideful when someone compliments a pre-owned piece I’m wearing. If there happens to be a piece I’ve seen from a new season collection that I really fancy, I wait a month and if I still want it I consider getting it. Sustainable fashion is a process that is quite heavily reliant upon individual decisions until the necessary legislation catches up to where it should be, so I think on a personal level the aim should not be to be perfect but to be conscious in everything you do and buy.

Favourite REV Purchase?

Grace

The Woron long sleeve top in black is genuinely the best (and softest) purchase I have made in a long time! I wear it multiple times a week, for days at work and then out to drinks in the evening. I love pairing it under my Natalija green slip dress (my second favourite REV purchase!) or with high-waisted jeans.

Nancy

My ‘Athena’ Bodysuit in olive green by Yoli And Otis. It’s probably the comfiest and most flattering one I’ve ever owned, with a perfect neckline and just the right amount of stretch. It pairs so well with anything white or denim and I love the fact that it’s made from plant dyed organic cotton. My next purchase will most likely be a linen blouse by Arkitaip, our newest designer that I’m obsessed with.

Green Silk Slip
SHOP NOW

Isabel

My Natalijia forest green silk dress is my absolute go-to piece. The silk is lusciously soft and can be worn for a day-to-night look seamlessly. In the winter, I pair it with a Woron body-suit and my black heeled combat boots or a leather jacket and tights. In the summer I’ll pair it with some white trainers or open-toed heels.

Romane

My Natalija black slip dress – it’s the perfect length and it pairs so well with everything, especially turtlenecks.  I also really love my oversized white tee by RiLEY Studio, which looks great paired down with denim for a minimal day-time look.

Find the team’s favourites here…