A Guilt-Free Way of Shopping
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s guilty of buying items of clothing for special occasions but then, unfortunately, never wear them again. That dress you bought for your friend’s wedding but don’t like anymore. That one of a kind, extravagant skirt that felt like a good idea when you were in an impulsive mood but doesn’t seem to match with any of your other clothes. It’s okay, you’re not the only one. If I’m being honest, I think I’m only really wearing about 50% of my wardrobe! So yeah, it was about time I’d choose the more sustainable path…
One of my resolutions for this year is to shop more consciously and to consume more sustainably. I’ve been spending a lot of time going through my wardrobe, decluttering my clothes and selling or donating the items I’m not wearing anymore. My goal? To eventually end up with a wardrobe that only consists of my favourite items, items that I would want to wear every day. Or, to use Marie Kondo’s well-known words, items that “spark joy”.
In my opinion, the best way to start consuming more sustainably is by second hand shopping. Thrift shopping is not only good for the environment, as it prevents clothes going to waste and reduces pollution, it’s also good for your wallet. One of the things I like most about thrifting is that it gives you a chance to get your hands on high quality pieces for a more affordable price. One thing that I find a bit harder to find in thrift shops is occasion wear or fancy dresses. That’s why I want to talk about another more sustainable alternative to the traditional way of shopping: dress rental!
Designer for Less
Ever dreamed of showing up at a party in a gorgeous dress by your favourite designer? Renting your next party outfit is not only a more sustainable way of shopping, it also offers you a chance to wear a designer piece without breaking the bank. Closet in the Cloud is one of those dress rental services. They have a collection of designer or luxury dresses in different styles that you can rent for a more affordable price. Their collection includes items by Oscar de la Renta, Ted Baker, Ba&Sh, Olivia + Alice, For Love & Lemons and my all-time favourite Parisian brand: Maje!
My friend Félice and I got the chance to do a photoshoot in collaboration with Closet in the Cloud and photographer Naomi, also known as Nanted Photography. We had so much fun choosing our outfits and shooting the pictures, laughing about how passers-by kept commenting how “we must be freeee-zing” (the pictures were shot back in January!), but seeing the final result made it all worth it. For the first round of pictures, Naomi decided to shoot some pictures against the backdrop of the St Michael’s Church, one of Ghent’s most beautiful churches. I love how these pictures turned out!
What We’re Wearing
I’m wearing a beautiful, hand-made black satin dress. The dress has a really deep V-neck, so yeah, Naomi probably had to deal with some nip-slips when editing the pictures… I’m wearing this maxi dress with a pair of black stiletto heals and my favourite Muru Jewellery necklaces.
Félice is wearing a very flattering and elegant navy dress with a beautiful split. Just like my dress, this beauty is hand made. She added a playful touch of detail by wearing a pair of leopard print Marie Janes.
The second series of pictures were taken in the Ghent district “Patershol,” one of my favourite areas to go for a stroll in the evening! Both of our dresses are from the Parisian brand ba&sh, and can be rented at Closet in the Cloud.
Due to the current situation, the majority of shops are still not allowed to open their doors. As for Closet in The Cloud, they had been looking forward to opening a shop in the centre of Ghent this Spring, but had to postpone the opening. If you would like to support this business (and sustainable fashion at once!), you could buy yourself a gift voucher which you can use next time you have an event going on.
Now we’re talking about supporting small businesses, why not give my dear friend and amazing photographer Naomi some love! Perhaps your mom would love to receive a gift card for a photo shoot, which you can do together when the world has turned back to normal again?
Enjoy your weekend, and see you in the next one!