Everyone is a fashion consumer, from the trend loving fashionista to everyday folks for whom fashion equals function. It’s therefore no surprise that the fashion industry is one of the world’s largest industries. But today, with the advent of fast fashion, our very clothes have been refashioned; we now consume 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year – 400% more than we consumed just two decades ago.
With these statistics in mind, its no wonder that waste has emerged as a pressing environmental concern with 350,000 tonnes of used clothing going to landfill every year in the UK; and approximately 111,690 tonnes per year here in Hong Kong. Consumers from Beijing to Berlin are roaming the streets in poorly made rags that won’t last the season, let alone a few machine washes, and we are encouraged to buy, buy, buy with new collections landing in stores every week.
But fashion relies on change: and a change is coming. It happened for food and now it is happening for fashion. Consumers want to bring more fashion sense back into wardrobes and soul back into their reflections. But whilst striving to feel better about what they wear, they don’t want to compromise in how they look.
In Redress’ 10 years of engaging with consumers and industry alike, we have always talked about the fact that all fashion consumers are a crucial part of making fashion more sustainable, but one of the biggest challenges facing fashion consumers is that the information available to them is often confusing, conflicting in its advice, or in much too much depth for the average consumer to get their head around easily.
So we decided to write Dress [with] Sense, a practical guide to a conscious closet, which launched last month in bookstores around the world with publisher Thames & Hudson. The easy-to-read guide takes fashion loving consumers through how to buy, wear, care and dispose of their clothes in more sustainable ways without compromise in style. The format provides fashion facts and practical tips to take the reader on his or her lifelong journey towards developing a more conscious closet. The tips are brought to life using examples from inspiring people from around the world who champion sustainable wardrobe ethics and aesthetics, including fashion designer, Johanna Ho, Activist and model Amber Valletta and founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola de Castro to name a few.
This month with both Earth day and Fashion Revolution week approaching, both encouraging consumers around the world to consider the impacts of what they buy and wear, we hope this book has arrived at an opportune time to help consumers move forward with positive steps to more conscious consumption.
Dress [with] Sense was written by Christina Dean, Hannah Lane and Sofia Tärneberg
 The True Cost (2015)
 Valuing our clothes: the evidence base, WRAP, 2012