Interview with Clozette.co
Healthier for the planet; healthier for you
Put a finger down if you’ve stared at your overflowing wardrobe and thought to yourself, “I have nothing to wear!” Put another finger down if you’ve entered a boutique with the intention of buying “just one dress for work”, only to walk out with five other items instead. It can be tough to resist the temptations of fashion, given how there’s always a fun, new style trend to experiment with or an eye-catching runway collection that you can’t help but be inspired by.
Challenge yourself by “shopping” from one another’s wardrobes
“A lot of people who come to clothes swaps have told me that they’ve lost their appetite for shopping. They would try to leave with as little as possible and when they do find something, they do their best to ensure that they will use it — even though everything’s ‘free!’” revealed Malaysian TV host, model and Fashion Revolution Malaysia’s Acting Country Coordinator Melissa Tan, who organises clothes swaps regularly for fellow fashion lovers to share their clothes with one another.
As for her personal sustainable fashion journey, the Zero Waste advocate recalls the time when she travelled between three countries as a working model and realised “what a relief” it was to be living out of a suitcase. “I started to work with a capsule wardrobe instead. Everything clicked when I approached it with a minimalistic mindset and realised those two worlds intersected so well as they both had the same focus: living more intentionally, being the best version of yourself, and helping you just optimise while being kind to the earth,” she shared.
“I believe you probably already own everything you ever need. Otherwise, you can source it secondhand. When you put these ‘boundaries’ on yourself, you become more creative and resourceful when looking for pieces that will truly add value to you. You become more discerning and that helps you understand your style and what fits you best,” advised Melissa, when asked about resisting the temptations of fast fashion.
Reflecting on the pandemic’s impact on fashion consumption, the model believes that many people have gone through a decluttering phase after realising how little of the wardrobe they were wearing: “COVID-19 has made them question their level of consumption. However, even as time passes by and we ‘get used’ to it, we should still hold onto the lessons that we learnt during this new normal and remember that we don’t need that much.”
“Practising sustainable fashion is not just healthier for the planet, but healthier for you. Fashion is about creativity and self-expression, so let’s bring back the culture of appreciation for fashion itself and not centre it around consumption,” shared Melissa.