Recycle your clothes, save Mother Earth

I like to take out the recycling because I actually feel like I’m doing something. – Mike Quigley, US politician

This week, I would like to salute Prince William’s wife and duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton for recycling her clothes.

Early this month, an American monthly women’s monthly magazine noticed that she had recycled a Sunny Dolce & Gabbana dress from 2018 Wimbledon while joining William on a Zoom call with business owners and first responders from Kangaroo Island, South Australia. They wanted to find out more about the impact of the region’s catastrophic January wildfires and what they were doing to rebuild their lives.

The magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, pointed out that the duchess seemed to be wearing a familiar outfit and the yellow dress looked like the same vibrant Dolce & Gabbana dress she wore on the second day of Wimbledon in 2018.

It also pointed out that it was not the first time that Kate had outfit-repeated, meaning recycled her dresses. It added that the duchess had no aversion to wearing the same piece of clothing in public more than once.

If you are always in the public eye, like Kate, it is not easy to wear the same outfit twice. Fashion magazines make it their business to note what you are wearing and find out whether it is an old outfit.

If it is a new outfit, it is a good story. I did a quick research and found out that there are “repliKaters” or women who emulate the style of the Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince Harry’s wife and the Duchess of Sussex, Rachel Meghan Markle.

According to Susan Courter, of the royal fashion blog, “What Meghan Wore”, social media has definitely played a huge role in popularising royal fashion.

She pointed out that the world was now able to see images and get information on fashion pieces that Kate or Meghan had worn in an instant versus in the past when everyone had to wait for fashion magazines and news outlets for the information like in the Diana era for example.

Susan added that both Kate and Meghan had a huge impact on royal fashion because people could relate to their style choices and were inspired by them.

What is interesting, according to Susan, is that the massive interest in what Kate and Meghan wear has a trickle-down effect, with news outlets and blogs now reporting the styles of other British royals like Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, the Countess of Wessex, Zara and Autumn Phillips.

The royal fashion blogger also pointed out that both Kate and Meghan were media savvy and aware that their fashion choices would be endlessly scrutinised and debated.

Susan revealed that Kate primarily championed British brands while Meghan had shone a light on ethical, sustainable labels.

Anyway, my hats off to Kate for recycling her clothes. In March this year, someone even pointed out that she had set a new style precedent by re-wearing two old outfits on the same day. Someone even counted the number of times she recycled her outfits and apparently, it had been more than 50 times.

My friends, we should all follow Kate’s good example of saving Mother Earth. No one should be ashamed of recycling their outfits or other items.

Well, how do you recycle your clothing? Wear them more than once, just like Kate. Turn old clothing into cleaning rags. Use them for crafting purposes or send them to someone who knows how to do so. Look up recycling programmes.

Like Kate, I am not averse to wearing recycled clothes – either those I bought personally or those handed down by friends or family members.  I feel that if the clothes are still good, we should recycle them.

For generations, some Chinese families in particular have been recycling maternity and baby clothes. I was pleasantly surprised when a young mother recently let her baby wear clothes that she had worn when she was an infant herself. Apparently, her mother had stored the clothes very carefully all these 30 years.

I know some sisters recycle maternity clothes among themselves. Indeed, why spend money on something you get to wear only when you are pregnant?

In Malaysia as well as in many parts of the world, there is big business in recycled clothes. Recently, Bernama carried a story about a polytechnic graduate, Nur Fatin Syuhada Mohd Saat who was earning an income of up to five figures monthly from her online ‘bundle business’.

The civil engineering polytechnic graduate of Kota Bharu Polytechnic had used “Facebook Live” to market her bundle clothing to netizens.

According to her, the online sale attracted customers all over Malaysia. 

She encouraged others, especially unemployed graduates, to sell bundle clothing online too. So over to you, my dear friends.