Earth911 Podcast: Wearwell Cofounder Erin Houston Builds Circular Clothing Lifestyles
The rise of fast fashion resulted in a tidal wave of clothing in the world’s landfills. Even traditional fashion choices can increase your environmental footprint if not selected using sustainable criteria, cared for and washed correctly, and worn until you donate or recycle it. Meet Erin Houston, cofounder of Wearwell, a woman-owned company that helps customers choose sustainable clothing, accessories, and shoes, as well as resell used items they no longer want to wear. Erin and her team carefully design the Wearwell catalog to feature responsibly manufactured fashion, clothing from certified B Corporations that mix profit with social impact, as well as from women- and block-owned fashion lines for women of all sizes. The company also offers a recommerce option, Wearwellagain, that provides customers free shipping of pre-loved clothing, shoes, and accessories and awards between 5% and 15% off their next purchase.
The question is whether humanity can find satisfaction in making the clothing we buy last longer. Much of the problem is due to the focus on shopping rather than wearing and caring for clothing. The change we need to make is to place the emphasis not on how many clothing pieces we acquire but instead on making them last. Recommerce, selling used items that others can wear, is a potential source of satisfaction for the shopper craving change. Wearwellagain and similar services could enable the constant exchange of clothing to satisfy the need for novelty — but limiting shipping and other recommerce-related environmental impacts will be a challenge until we achieve a carbon-neutral transportation infrastructure. There are many changes to make and myriad opportunities for new businesses. You can learn more about Wearwell at https://www.shopwearwell.com/