The fashion industry is often criticised for its damaging environmental impact. In recent years ‘fast fashion’, where clothes are purposely manufactured to be worn for a single season, has further increased the problem. Keep Britain Tidy reports that 10,000 items of clothing are now sent to landfill every five minutes in the UK.
Despite fast fashion dominating the high street, some brands have taken a stance against the practice. One organisation that puts this attitude at the heart of its cause is ReRun. The small sportswear company was founded by Team GB ultra runner Dan Lawson and his wife Charlotte.
Their unique approach takes upcycling to new levels, often sewing together pre-loved exercise clothing to create exciting and original pieces while reducing waste. We spoke to Charlotte about ReRun and how they communicate their message.
Hi Charlotte! What would you say is the main method of communicating your sustainability message?
We use social media, mainly Instagram and Facebook. We try to attend as many events as possible as we believe that face-to-face interaction is the most powerful and convincing way to engage with runners. We also have some of our resale clothing that has our logo or some messaging printed onto it. These act as conversation starters and raise awareness of wearing pre-loved sportswear.
How do you go about convincing people to change their mindset and start reusing activewear?
It’s been a slow process. We started by practicing what we preach and trying to convince others to get on board. Word of mouth is effective with friends sharing positive experiences of buying pre-loved gear. We also share positive reviews and photographs on social media of runners wearing ReRun.
Do you think people are hesitant to reuse old clothes? If so, why?
In the UK I think for everyday wear it’s common now to wear pre-loved. There is still a taboo around wearing other people’s sportswear and we find that more people donate that buy from us. Why? We’ve had feedback such as bad experiences from receiving smelly or ill-fitting gear.
How can someone start their journey to reduce clothing waste?
We believe the best place to start reducing waste is to challenge yourself to abstain from buying anything for a long period of time! It helps to connect more and build a relationship with the clothing that we already own, forming an attachment and making it harder to then get rid of them.
Featured image: Charlotte and Dan - © ReRun founders