November 05 2015 – Lindsey Connor
Every year people go through their wardrobe to clean out garments that they deem no longer "fashionable" or "trendy". Out of the thousands of tons of textiles thrown away every year, I'm sure 90% of them could be reused and find a new home. Have you ever heard the expression "one man's trash is another man's treasure?" I genuinely believe in that concept when it comes to fashion.
Seasons in advance, fashion forecasting companies research and display what they believe will be trending in the upcoming fashion runways ahead. Designers/brands base their upcoming collections on these forecasts, proclaiming items that were once "in style" to "outdated". It is my heartfelt belief that fashion has no expiration date! There is no law that tells a person that they are no longer "in- style"; it is all about personal perception. Maybe I don't care about being trendy as much as I care about expressing myself and having a genuine connection to the items in my closet. I'd rather create my wardrobe out of pieces that have character than items that are considered to be "disposable fashion". My style is my own personal brand that I define. Only I have a say in what is "in" and what is "out".
Through a lifetime of building my own style, I have bought "brand new" items as well as pieces that are "new to me". To reuse a piece is not only giving it a second life, but also providing yourself with a new experience. Not only are majority of gently used shoes, handbags, garments, accessories, etc. in great condition, they have character and often an undisclosed meaning. Character is important trait for pieces in my collection. I own a pair of woven, embroidered boots from the Himalayas that have a burn hole on the back left calf. The man I bought them from said he found them among many other unique items at an estate sale in a box labeled "travel junk". When I first put them on I was curious as to where the hole came from. Who wore these boots before I did? Where have they traveled? Will I travel to new places with them? Through a simple hole I felt an unexplainable connection to another person in the universe. Although, we would never meet or know each other, we are linked. To me the burn hole was just character added to the boot's story. Buying reused items guarantees you a different experience than buying something brand new. I have a whole wardrobe built out of reused items and I wouldn't have it any other way.