Published on
08 June 2021

As we head into summer, according to Barnardo’s research conducted by YouGov in May**, Brits are keen to update their summer wardrobes.

The research showed that over a third (36%) of British adults are planning to celebrate the easing of all lockdown restrictions by purchasing 4.21 million** outfits to wear at much-anticipated events with friends and family. 
That’s a lot of outfits and potentially a lot of waste, as a third (33%) of adults expect to wear their outfit just five times or fewer. This rises to half of adults (50%) who plan to wear items 10 times or fewer. 
Considering these stats, Barnardo’s has teamed up with Claudia Jessie, who stars in the Netflix show Bridgerton. Styled in Barnardo’s clothing, Claudia will launch our new “look good, do good” summer fashion campaign.
“Shopping pre-loved has always been something I do” Claudia said. “I love that there is a wealth of amazing, unique clothes just waiting to be discovered – not only do they look great but they help raise vital funds for those who need it.” 

I hope the new Barnardo’s campaign will encourage more people to discover just how good shopping pre-loved feels

So, how can you get a new summer look without breaking the bank and buying sustainably? Here are five ways to update your wardrobe ethically and at a fair cost.

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Barnardo's | Retail Campaign Behind the Scenes

1. Check out Charity shops

orange blouse, skirt and heels from a charity shop
Get inspired by Barnardo's retail page on Instagram. Follow @barnardosretail.

When did you last visit your local charity shop? Brimming with post-lockdown donations, charity shops saw a surge in sales and donations when they opened in April. 

Charity shops are not only excellent for the planet and your pocket, but in our Barnardos shops, all profits from your purchase will help the UK's most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, so you can both look good and do good. 

From vintage and retro gems to high street brands at slashed prices, get inspired by Barnardo’s retail Instagram and dedicated fashion blog for hints, tips and reviews on ethical fashion.

2) How ethical are you? 

Before you get back out to the shops, why not find out how ethical and sustainable your current wardrobe is. Fashion is the second biggest polluter after oil, so, we all play a part in assessing our wardrobes and shaking up our shopping habits. 

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A Realistic Guide To Sustainable Fashion | i-D

Why not start by using this fashion footprint calculator to see how sustainable you are. From how you wash your clothes to how long you keep them, this calculator scores you on your wardrobe impact, shopping habits and washing practice. 

3) Anything but fast fashion

Fast fashion” is the practice of buying excessive amounts of cheap clothing items, wearing them only a few times and disposing of them quickly. The amount of clothes we buy has doubled in the last 15 years, so how can we reduce this trend? 

Why not try out depop or eBay– both are a surefire way to find unique and stylish secondhand bargains from online sellers. These sites are also a great way to make some money yourself. Set up an account and follow these top tips on making some cash on depop. 

Similarly, if you want something for a one-off event but don’t want to spend a fortune, why not hire instead? In recent years some excellent online hire shops have popped up. You can rent high-end, designer outfits for a fraction of the cost with HirestreetHurr and Girl Meets DressGowns which can cost £240 can be rented for under £40.

4) Swap shop! 

Want to get rid of clothes you’ve grown out of during lockdown or want to refresh your wardrobe for free? Why not run a clothes swap! Getting people together and swapping clothes is a totally free, ethical and fun way to update your wardrobe. Covid guidance permitting, there are some great tips and tricks on running a swap shop online
If you can’t run a whole event, how about a one-off swap with a friend? Swap outfits for upcoming events or donate your items that may suit them better. 

5) Reuse, reduce, recycle...your current wardrobe 

Finally, why don’t you revisit the items you already have. Look at your wardrobe through new eyes, mix and match outfits you might not have thought of before and use accessories to change the look of older outfits.  
If you think something is ready to be thrown away, why not get thrifty and try fixing it yourself? The Clothes Doctor is a free website offering mending tutorials, and you don’t need a sowing machine! 
And finally, if you’re out buying something brand new, ask yourself three questions: 

  1. Do I already have something similar? 
  2. Does this go with at least three things I already own? 
  3. Am I only going to wear this once? 

**All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2003 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 5th May 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). 

** Based on the adult population of 52,673,433. Survey showed of the 36% of GB adults planning to celebrate the end of lockdown 23% plan to buy a new outfit. 

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