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With the country's economy in such a peak position right now, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, it's difficult for a lot of people to indulge in the things they would normally like to and at the same time it's proving harder and harder for small businesses and charities to survive. We can look at this as a depressing hopeless time, or, we can try to see this as an opportunity to change the way we consume and save some of our own money whilst preserving these small independent businesses and helping the environment. If the effects of Covid-19 have left you jobless and penniless, here are a few ways in which you can keep your look fresh without having to spend too much.

Use your local clothing companies

If you normally spend most of your time shopping at the Nike's and the Supreme's of this world (as most of us normally do) you may've over looked the hard garments there are available to you locally for far cheaper. You may well have a friend or acquaintance who has started their own clothing company with harder hoodie designs than the typical 'preme bogo. For us, brands such as PICNIC and Villa Clothing have provided some leng summer attire which is not only stylish and cheap, but also good quality. Supporting local black owned clothing businesses is extremely important in helping the Black community thrive economically during this time as well. So keep your eyes peeled for the local brands who need your support at this time of uncertainty. They might just have everything you want for your Autumn/Winter 2020 look.

Make your own clothes / modify your current clothes

There's nothing wrong with choosing not to buy anything new at all. If you watched the latest David Attenborough, you'll know that one of the key habits humans possess that's driving climate change and damage to our planet is consumption. Maybe this is a good time to step back and say 'no, I don't actually need this Palace tracksuit'... As new garm lovers ourselves, we know how easy it can be to get bored of the clothes you already have and want new ones, especially during the changing of the seasons. However, this doesn't mean you have to fall victim to that Size ad on Insta. You can take the clothes you already have and think of ways to make them look fresh. Whether this is:

- Modifying them, like turning a jacket into a gilet or trousers into shorts.

- Making your own clothes with old fabrics and a sewing machine.

- Or finding old clothes you don't wear anymore and fixing them up to look new, like sewing up the holes in your outdated ripped jeans.

Charity shop clothes

The Third sector (voluntary and community sector) is predicted to be one of the hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. 77% of charities have already reported a negative impact on their financial year as a result of the pandemic. Charities such as Oxfam, Cancer UK and The British Heart Foundation could be facing a huge crash in funding due to the recession. So the obvious small way in which we can help is by choosing to buy from them. If you've ever been into your local Oxfam, you'll know that there is always a hidden gem lurking in the corner of the shop. That Lacoste polo you were gonna cop for quadruple the price, that Stoney jacket you never had the P for, the Levi's jeans you've always wanted, go and look because you might get lucky. Every purchase helps these charities out.

Go to eBay and Depop

We, as young people, all need a bit of cash at the moment. If you're struggling to find a job or just need an extra bit of pocket money to get by you may have resorted to putting your own old clothes on eBay or Depop (like us). It's a better time than ever to help each other out by buying clothes off other people like us rather than helping big clothing corporations who don't need your money. You can usually find everything you want on these sites, whether your a vintage dresser, a hypebeast lover or a penny saver. By buying clothes second-hand you're also doing your bit for the environment and creating a life-cycle of existing clothes rather than consuming more mass-produced crap.

Borrow (steal) something off your parents

This had to be saved till last as it is possibly the most underrated. Your parents clothes are hard... Why do you think Dad jeans, DMs, Birkenstocks and New Balance are all in fashion? Because your parents' fashion generation did it right. If you don't have the funds for a new winter outfit have a sniff round your own house. You might just get away with a cheeky tax... some creps, some sunglasses, a fleece, a tee, who knows? Just keep your head down. If your heading off to uni this is your opportunity, they'll never get them back once your gone... "Sorry Dad you can't come and get your Birky's, my uni accom's gone into lockdown :/"...

Written by Jem Hancock-Taylor


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