Recently, it seems that not a day goes by without new stories arising of catastrophic pollution levels, harrowing images of full-to-capacity landfill sites, and rubbish-made islands such as the imposing Thilafushi in the Maldives. It’s impossible to not be affected by them.

Though not solely culpable, the traditional fast fashion model is among the main perpetrators – which is why numerous brands, e-commerce platforms and pioneering creators are taking steps to ensure that the status quo is reversed, before it’s too late.

Alongside advances in fabrics, and new movements towards cyclical business models and upcycled luxury, buying pre-loved and vintage fashion is an obvious and easy step towards minimising one’s own output immediately. London’s eco-fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill – co-funded by the European Union and the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) – is now on a mission to prove that second-hand needn’t mean second-rate. Hosting a three-day long Pop Up shop in Brick Lane’s iconic Truman Brewery, the event will see vintage-savvy stylists and influencers curate 300-piece collections from charities that include Barnardo's, Oxfam and the Royal Trinity Hospice.

In the UK alone, 38 million items of new clothes are bought each week, and 11 million will end up in landfill; we spoke to the group behind the event, to find out why each of them are learning to love (not landfill) their wardrobes...

Hannah Carter: #LoveNotLandfill
"I have been interested in sustainable fashion for a few years; working alongside the London Waste and Recycling Board, we came up with the various elements of the Love Not Landfill campaign. A Pop-Up shop was something that we wanted to do from the start ­– to create a space that brought charities together in one room and show London how unique, stylish and affordable second-hand clothes can be. (Earlier this year, I bought a 1950s-style navy shirt dress from a TRAID Pop-Up!)

I hope that fashion continues to move towards being more sustainable – and that more young people will start to buy second-hand instead of new, caring more for their clothes and what happens to them when they are no longer wanted. No clothes should ever end up in landfill."

Campaign image for #LoveNotLandfill by Emma Slade Edmondson.

Emma Slade Edmondson: Creative Director and Co-Producer of #LoveNotLandfill
"I spend a lot of time in charity shops across London, due to the nature of my work. When I was approached to help Love Not Landfill shape the branding and visuals for this Pop-Up shop and produce the event itself, I didn’t hesitate! It provides a great opportunity to create a wonderful space that people should really enjoy spending time in – filled with the best that London’s charity shops have to offer.

It’s a good opportunity to change people’s mindset when it comes to shopping second-hand – I once found a vintage black hooded YSL cape with the most delicate gold embroidery sitting either side of the clasp! Ultimately, people use clothes to express themselves, to communicate out to the world about who they are and what they believe in.

Fashion has to move towards a more sustainable future. That will mean different things for different people, but for me personally – sustainability in fashion is a journey. There is still so much to learn when it comes to sustainable materials and production; however, there is positive innovation to take heart from around how we can implement a circular economy, and the choice to buy and wear second-hand is an easy way to get started on being involved in the positive change.

Given the choice, I believe that most people would prefer to wear fashion that is 'feel good' in every sense."

Paloma in Disguise: Vintage Blogger and Stylist
"I love so many items that I have found in charity shops – from vintage dresses to unique accessories, and all for a fraction of the price of what they would be elsewhere. An oversized Levi's jacket from my local Oxfam (which, years later, still goes with everything in my wardrobe) and a 1970s olive green suede coat, which I found for £10, stand out for me as favourites.

There are so many existing and amazing clothes that are ready to be worn again. My collection with Oxfam is split into four sections: Camouflage, Checks and Tartans, a bit of Glitz, and a touch of Grunge. I hope that there is something for everyone!

My hope is that the fashion industry becomes ethical all around – with the people involved in the making of clothes being treated fairly, and with the materials used to produce these clothes being grown and used more sustainably."

Because columnist, Jasmine Hemsley, will be curating a collection by Royal Trinity Hospice. Image courtesy of Nick Hopper.

Jasmine Hemsley: Writer, Chef, Eco-Warrior
"Thrifting, car-booting and charity shopping is absolutely my cup of tea; like a magpie on a mission, I scooped up everything that caught my eye. Since I love mixing fun colours and materials, you can expect some really unique pieces to brighten up your wardrobe, whatever your style may be!

The opportunity to share my passion with others and help them to see a different way of shopping means a lot to me. Not only is it an economical way of updating your wardrobe, but sometimes you can throw all caution to the wind and take a gamble on an item that retails at the fraction of its original price and will add some pizzazz to your routine. I’ve been shopping like this for years, so it’s hard to pin down my favourite buy – but my latest "Look at this!" moment is a little silver Charles Jourdan handbag that goes with everything. Fast fashion has ruled for decades and now is the time to change that."

Lizzie Loves: Vlogger and Writer
"If we shopped a little more within charity shops or Pop-Ups like Love Not Landfill, it would be easier for everyone to create their own individual style and form a stronger sense of personal identity. I was so happy when I finally found a pair of Levi’s shorts that I’d seen on Instagram and Tumblr in an underground charity shop!

For my curation, I was looking for items that would be unique individual pieces for anyone who shopped there – old-school sportswear brands like Umbro and adidas. I can already envision how someone could style these in a modern way.

I hope that people are a little more mindful of where they spend their money on clothes, so that we can take the time to enjoy fashion as opposed to keeping up with trends."

George Barry: Grass Routes Vintage
"I look out for special items that can’t be bought on the high street – true vintage designer pieces. I once found a Supreme Kate Moss T-shirt for 99p! From my edit, you should expect to find some serious gems...

I hope that people wake up to how destructive the fashion industry can be, start buying second-hand, and appreciate the individuality and creativity that this way of shopping can bring."

The #LoveNotLandfill Pop-Up shop will run from 8-11 November, 2018 at Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 6QR. Click here to register for your free ticket. 

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+ Meet the next generation of designers who are championing ethical fashion.

+ Don't panic! We've narrowed down what to do and where to be seen this November...