by Mikaela Larsell Ayesa 

Can you style anything?

Someone once wrote: Fashion says “Me too”, Style says “Me only”. Fashion comes and goes, style is forever.

What does it mean to ‘have style’ or to be ‘stylish’? Is it our ability to follow trends, to fit into a specific persona? Or is it the ability to style ANYTHING? My sister and I did a little challenge.

We took 3 items that we thought were really hard to style and that we haven’t worn for years. These items didn’t feel like ‘us’ anymore. We challenged each other to come up with an outfit for each item, an outfit that we would actually wear.

This is what we picked...

...and how we styled them!

Now it’s your turn! Share what you styled using the hashtag #canistyleanything or send us the pictures.

If you still don’t feel like digging deep in your closet to find that one blouse that you wore twice and then, like us, stopped using it, here are some numbers that might change your mind.

We buy 13 kilos of clothes per person, per year.

In Sweden, this is the average amount that we buy every year. This is about 52 items of clothing. In my case, I fall in love with a few specific items that I end up wearing every week for a long time. I have my favourite jeans, my favourite t-shirt and my favourite white shirt. Despite this, I still own more white shirts, more t-shirts and more jeans that I barely use.

8 kilos of clothes are thrown away every year.

In fact, almost a third part of what a person in Sweden buys is never used. At Hackyourcloset, we receive so many unused items from charity organizations and donations that still have the price tag hanging. What happened with those items?

1 kilo of chemicals per t-shirt

That’s how much chemicals it takes to produce one t-shirt. Often, those chemicals are not taken care of and end up in the environment. It is not rare that workers using those chemicals have no safety equipment what so ever, and inhale very toxic gases every day.

5 steps in 5 different countries

This is how many production stages on average it takes for our clothes to get to our stores. The cotton to make t-shirts could for example have been grown in India, and made into thread in another part of India. The fabric knitted in Pakistan and dyed in Bangladesh. The final step could be to sew the t-shirt in Turkey and then ship it to Sweden. Trucks, airplanes and container ships are used for transportation between the countries, and sometimes the fabric and the t-shirts are shipped to Sweden for inspection and review of design several times back and forth.

Clothes are made of valuable raw materials, have gone through a production process with many steps and contributed to climate change in an extensive way. Let’s take good care of them together and make every purchase worth it.

Why now?

Most of us are aware of the environmental consequences of the clothing industry. But to give you some hard numbers, this is how it looks like and why we need to change now.

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