Seven years ago Hannah joined the NGO Redress, which works to reduce waste in the fashion industry, aiming to create awareness there, as well as among students and consumers, of fashion’s impact on the environment. Here are her top tips to help you get started.
Buy less: ‘There are a growing number of heavy books about working conditions or the environmental impacts of the industry and it’s easy to plunge into despair. Our book Dress [with] Sense is accessible to all; it’s about how to make a start, however small. If you reach just one person and they decide to buy ten tops instead of 20 over the course of a year then for us that’s a step forward, and if half of those tops are made of recycled cotton or are secondhand that’s even better.’
Buy better: ‘I’m on the fence about shopping at high street stores. Inherently those shops are part of the problem because they churn out new collections so often, but if you know you’re going to wear something a lot and you’ll look after it, then it’s OK. I’ve got an H&M T-shirt I bought 15 years ago, it fits me well and I still wear it – I’ve sewn up holes. It’s all about looking for quality materials, checking the seams, and asking, “Do I love it?”. Try not to buy it immediately, then come home to find you’ve already got two similar things. I have a 24-hour rule: if I’m still thinking about the item a day later, only then do I buy it.’