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This month, Second-hand September, we connected with fashion activist Amanda Butterworth from our  New Zealand Fashion Revolution team.  Fashion Revolution is a global movement that campaigns for a clean, safe, fair, transparent, and accountable fashion industry through research, education, collaboration, mobilisation and advocacy.    Amanda is the Country Co-Ordinator for Fashion Revolution, and is a passionate sustainable fashion advocate.  With a background in law, a successful career in Procurement, Amanda’s heart has always been drawn to fashion. Inspired while living in London, to support a more sustainable and ethical future for fashion, Amanda is determined to challenge the way people think about,  and buy clothing.

 

Q.  Tell us about your love for second-hand fashion and what does shopping second-hand mean to you?

My love for second-hand fashion started when I was a teenager. I used to spend hours at Savemart in the weekends hunting through the racks. I loved the compliments I would get for the unique pieces I was wearing, and I definitely loved a bargain! In recent years I have got really into my nana’s closet. She has some fabulous pieces, all fantastic quality including gorgeous dresses and wool suits she brought out from Ireland over 40 years ago! Quite often someone will say they love what I’m wearing, and I get to say “thanks, it’s my nana’s.” She always gives me a smile and a wink when she sees me wearing her clothes and it feels special to be able to give the clothes that she felt great in, a new life. I love the thrill of finding a really great item. My favourite piece to date is a hand painted ‘Oscar de la Renta’ silk scarf. 

 Q.  Fashion Revolution New Zealand is part of a global movement calling for a fairer fashion industry with a focus on people, planet, and profit in equal measures.  It is well known that one way to avoid supporting ‘fast fashion’ is by choosing to buy second-hand and to love your clothing longer #lovedclotheslast.    What is the Fashion Revolution team currently doing to raise awareness for the value second-hand clothing provides over fast fashion? How could second-hand fashion companies, for example,  Dove Hospice, become involved?

At Fashion Revolution NZ, we love to hear the stories behind people’s clothing. We encourage everyone to share their #clothinglovestory as part of our #lovedclotheslast campaign.  We were delighted with the number of people involved with us during ‘Fashion Revolution Week’ in April.  Second-hand September is another opportunity to share stories and it doesn’t have to be limited to campaigns – we love to share stories all year round!  We organised a clothing swap, another great way to share clothes within the community, and we plan to hold more of these in the future together with a second-hand clothing market. We’d love to see Dove Hospice at one of these events in the future. We encourage everyone to shop second-hand, care for their clothing and wear, wear, wear, again and again!

Fashion Revolution

Q.  As the climate crisis escalates at an alarming speed, brands are now looking to go beyond being ‘sustainable’ and are embracing regenerative fashion.  We consider the act of buying second-hand clothing from Dove Hospice as regenerative.  When choosing to shop at Dove Hospice, this supports those in need through holistic therapy and supports those suffering from a life-threatening illness.  In essence, a process of regenerating health. 

Would you agree with this parallel and what are Fashion Revolution’s views on regenerative fashion?

A lot of fashion brands have been getting by with just doing “less harm”, but consumers are starting to demand more (and so they should). It’s not enough to just do less harm, we need fashion brands to actively do good – to have a positive impact. Dove Hospice is a great example of that. By keeping clothing in rotation, Dove Hospice is helping fashion to do less harm, but it’s also actively doing good by keeping clothing in rotation and out of landfill. And the great support that Dove Hospice offers to local communities is a truly great impact. Fashion doesn’t have to be destructive – it can be beautiful and regenerative.  

Q.  How do we find Fashion Revolution, and what would ‘getting involved’ look like?

Getting involved can look like many things – simply by choosing to shop second-hand and wearing your clothes repeatedly you’re part of the Fashion Revolution! Come along and attend one of our events or even organise your own Fashion Revolution event in your city (get in touch to ask us how).  You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook or visit https://www.fashionrevolution.org/oceania/new-zealand/ to check out the team and our events page. 

 

Amanda Butterworth “wearing my nana’s dress”
washing

Before you put your clothing into the wash, a few minutes of prep will help increase your clothes lifespan and decrease the chance of potential damage. 

Every garment has a care label with valuable information about the fabric content and recommended washing methods. Reading this is a great place to start.  

Care tips from Dove:

  • Sort clothing into whites, darks, and colours. It is less risky to mix colours and darks, however, keep your lights/whites separate to avoid dye transfer and to keep them vibrant. Make sure to wash new clothing separately a few times to prevent dye transfer. 
  • Close metal fixtures like zips and unbutton shirts. This helps to minimise abrasion and clothing getting caught on the metal. The unbuttoning takes tension off the button thread shank holding it in place.
  • Wash less! Over washing can lead to issues like pilling, colour loss, and fabric weakening. Consider airing out and spot cleaning when possible. 
  • Wash Cold! Use cold water for washing whenever possible. Hot water can weaken fabrics, a temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius is sufficient.
  • Wash Inside Out! Protect the outer surface of your garments by washing them inside out especially if they are printed or have embroidery. This helps minimize abrasion during the washing process. Place delicate items in a mesh washing bag.  
  • Remove stains as soon as possible. Wet the area first then gently blot the stain with a stain remover. Be careful to test the product before use on coloured clothing as it could cause fading. Leave the product on the stain for a couple of minutes or soak depending on the size or intensity of the stain. Rinse out and repeat if needed or put in your normal wash. For a compressive stain removal guide head to the Cleaning Institutes Guide. 
  • Delicate Fabrics require extra care such as silk, lace, chiffon, and satin. Hand washing is usually the safest option. If machine washing is necessary, use a gentle cold cycle and place the items in a mesh laundry bag to protect them. When drying, gently roll the garment in a towel to remove excess water, then lay it flat to dry in the shade.   If these are super delicate items, visit a reputable local drycleaner. 
  • Cotton and linen fabrics are often machine washable. Use a regular or gentle cycle with cold or warm water. Avoid hot water, as it can shrink and fade these fabrics. It is best to air-dry or tumble-dry on low heat.
  • For denim, use a cold or warm water setting and a mild detergent. Turn jeans inside out before washing. Avoid bleach and excessive agitation. Hang or lay flat to dry.
  • Synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic are machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold or warm water. Use a guppy bag to decrease microplastics entering the waterway. It is usually safe to tumble dry on low heat but check the care label for any specific instructions.
  • Wool and cashmere require special care. Hand wash them in cold water using a mild detergent or a dedicated wool/cashmere shampoo. Gently roll the garment in a towel to remove excess water, then lay it flat to dry in the shade.  Again, if these items are delicate, visit your local drycleaner.
  • When it comes to drying your clothing whenever possible, air drying is the gentlest option for clothes. It helps prevent shrinkage, fading, and wear. If using a dryer, choose a lower heat setting to minimize damage. For delicate items lay flat and dry in the shade or lay on a dry towel. Hang shirts and dresses on a hanger when drying to minimise crease lines. 

For some more expert advice on this topic head over to Regal Dry Cleaners 

We talked to Kate Mitchell, CEO from Regal, seeking advice and tips on caring for clothing….

 

What are your top tips on caring for clothing? 

Number one would be to always clean garments before putting them away in storage for a season. Often garments that have been worn but don’t ‘look’ dirty, have colourless stains (perspiration, perfume etc) that will turn yellow by the time you next pull out the garment, and at that stage it is often too late to remove the staining. Also, you should never store your clothes in packaging of any kind unless its specifically preservation packaging, even suit bags that stores provide when you purchase garments, are for travel purposes only not for storage!

 

How should we treat a stain? 

Of course, I’m bias, but I really advise against treating stains at home if you are unsure, as different stain removal products can make it materially more difficult for us to later remove the stain if they don’t work and can end up reacting with professional stain removal solutions and strip colour or damage the garment. Similarly, rubbing at a stain can later cause the colour or texture in that area to become damaged, even with a napkin. There are lots of great tricks at home that can work wonders so by all means go for it if you know something that works, but for anything special or for anything you are unsure of, ‘just trying it at home first’ and then planning to bring it in if that doesn’t work, may do more harm than good. A good drycleaner has a wide variety of professional products specifically catered to certain types of stains and use focused steam and air pressure to hand work on the stains without any aggressive rubbing or leaving solutions to soak into the fabric.

 

How often should we dry clean our suits, blazer, and coats?  

Traditionally you should avoid drycleaning these sorts of items too often, because some drycleaning solutions are quite harsh, however if you choose a drycleaner that uses more delicate solutions such as hydrocarbon instead of perchloroethylene, this will be much gentler on the garments (not to mention the environment) and you don’t have to ‘avoid’ drycleaning as much. Good quality suits drycleaned in hydrocarbon can be cleaned regularly for a long period of time, and whilst your coats and blazers don’t need to be cleaned after every wear, be wary of what I mentioned earlier around invisible staining yellowing over time, especially perspiration in the underarms.

 

What has been the most obscure item bought in to be dry cleaned?  

Mascot costumes are our favourite, with big heads and feet floating around the plant. Dog beds also come through every now and then… got to keep our special friend’s bedding as nice and fresh as ours!

 

Thanks Kate 🙂

Where is your local Regal Drycleaners ? Find out here.

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Date: 26/09/2023

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