Photo of a rail of jeans/blue and neutral coloured clothing hanging up
in the spin

New Year Rewear Challenge

The average number of times we wear an item of clothing, before we either leave it to languish in our wardrobe, or send it to landfill, is shockingly only 14. Yet if we double the lifespan of our clothes, we can halve the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, 95% of the textiles that end up in landfill each year could be recycled. That’s why the most sustainable item is the one that’s already in your wardrobe, and why it’s more important than ever to Buy Less, Wear More. So this New Year, rather than buy new, we challenge you to rewear instead. Read on to discover exactly how...

#1: Take a shopping fast

Photo of a long rail of clothing hung up in a shop

Rewearing the clothes you already have means buying nothing new for an entire month (though you might consider a year-long fast too - as Ann Pratchet shares with Vogue). That means no more shopping sprees, and especially no more impulse buys, no matter how tempting the January sales may be. 

#2: Sort out your wardrobe

It’s hard to rewear your wardrobe to the maximum if you can’t see what’s there. Start the challenge by taking everything (and we mean everything) out first, so you can assess the condition of each item. Then sort into piles: KEEP (items you know you’ll rewear); REPAIR (items which need some TLC); STORE (items you’ll set aside depending on the season); GIVE (items you’ll donate or sell - see below). Organise the items you’re keeping by categories like style, colour, occasion, and season.

#3: Follow the #30wears movement  

The 20/80 rule means that we may wear just 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Following the #30wears movement, founded by climate activist Livia Firth, can be a great source of inspiration for wearing your 80% more frequently. If you can’t imagine rewearing and restyling an item at least 30 times, give it to friends or family, donate it to a charity organisation like Give Your Best (which gifts pre-loved clothes to those who need them most) or sell it on a platform like Depop, to live on in another’s wardrobe. 

#4: Pick out your staples

Photo of a woman standing next to a lightpost with her hands in her black trousers, wearing a light blue shirt by With Nothing Underneath

Image source: With Nothing Underneath

We recommend curating a limited selection of pieces which complement each other, from which you can create a variety of different outfits. Classic pieces (particularly in neutral colours) are a good place to start -  we’re big fans of With Nothing Underneath’s timeless shirt collection. Other staples like jeans, a denim/leather jacket, slip dresses, and jumpers or cardigans, can serve as a great base upon which to layer more adventurous styles.

#5: Mix, match and experiment  

Rewearing doesn’t necessarily mean repeating outfits: restyle your staples in different ways. For example, pair a white shirt with a tailored suit and heels for a sharp, clean look in the office, or wear it untucked over jeans with trainers at the weekend. And before you start panicking about the things you could have, reframe your attitude and look at your existing wardrobe not as a limitation but as a chance for experimentation. This is a great opportunity to explore your personal style and embrace your aesthetic.  

#6: The third piece rule

Image of 4 women in brightly coloured outfits each carrying a staple handbag

Image source: Marie Claire

The ‘third piece’ is that item which finishes off your entire look. It’s a great way to refresh your style, even if you’re mainly wearing the same items time and time again. It could be a statement piece of jewellery, a scarf, a belt, a pair of sunglasses, or a designer handbag. 

#7: Host a clothes swap 

Long Love Your Wardrobe by sharing it with someone else. Clothes swaps with friends or family are a great way to maximise the amount of wear you get out of an item. 

#8: Make do and mend (or upcycle)

There’s no time quite like the New Year to learn something new, so why not learn to sew, knit or dye, and give damaged or faded pieces a new lease of life, so you can rewear them again and again? For clothing alterations and repairs made easy, you can always use the Sojo App, which will do all the needlework for you. If something no longer fits you, or you don’t get much wear out of it in its current form, consider repurposing it into a unique piece you won’t find in store. For example, you might get more wear out of an old leopard-print dress if it were transformed into a cropped top or skirt. 

#9: Always wash with Kair 

Photo of Kair's Signature Clothing Wash and Fabric Conditioner in Wild Juniper & Bergamot lying next to a pair of blue jeans on a black marble tiled floor

If you want to rewear your favourite pieces again and again without blitzing the life out of them, it’s important to give them the Kair they deserve. That means opting for gentle detergents and conditioners, like ours, which use effective plant-based surfactants rather than fabric-degrading and toxic chemicals (bleach, phosphates, phthalates, SLS).

#10: Only wash when dirty 

It’s also super important to always ask yourself: is it really dirty, and do I really need to wash it? Consider using finishing spray to refresh between washes: a time, wardrobe and planet-friendly alternative, which instantly revitalises and releases creases.

Ready to embrace our Rewear Challenge and Long Love Your Wardrobe? If so, be sure to tag us, and share your reworn reinventions with your community and with us.

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