John Lewis encourages ‘second-hand’ culture

By William Girling
Highstreet department store brand John Lewis & Partners has decided to introduce a new clothing label to encourage more sustainable fashion. Dubbed...

Highstreet department store brand John Lewis & Partners has decided to introduce a new clothing label to encourage more sustainable fashion. 

Dubbed the ‘Wear it, Love it, Hand it down’ range, the collection will include 700 assorted garments across its babywear and childrenswear clothing. The company will also be introducing organic cotton labelling to make writing a child’s name on the item easier. 

According to Clothes Aid, the UK sends approximately 350,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill each year (worth £140mn); John Lewis claims that children’s clothing makes up a disproportionate amount of this total, as items are often only worn for a few months. 

This is primarily because children swiftly outgrow items, meaning there is a network of potentially millions of clothes that could be reused or recycled. 

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WRAP (waste and resources action programme), comprising of recycling experts and circular economy proponents, believe that if the average lifespan of clothes was increased by three months, consumers would reduce CO2, water usage and waste by five to 10%.

Making sustainability fashionable

Already sourcing over 75% of its range from sustainable cotton, John Lewis is a great example of how a legacy brand (it was founded in 1864) can successfully keep up with emerging market trends and innovate a new approach.

“We’re really proud of the quality of our clothes and want them to have a really long life and be handed down again and again,” commented Caroline Bettis, Partner at John Lewis. 

“Our in-house design team create timeless designs so they don’t go out of fashion. We make them up in carefully selected good quality fabrics, and put our clothing through rigorous testing to ensure the colours stay bright, and they endure well under wear and tear.”

“I hope these new labels will help to grow the culture of handing down clothes which can be worn again by other children,” she said.

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