Dèborah’s jumper is special because it is steeped in family history. Originally her aunt's, who had purchased it when she lived in Portugal in her early teens, it was given to Dèborah almost a decade ago when she moved to the UK from Angola to protect her against the colder climate. For Dèborah, wearing the jumper is a source of closeness and intimacy with her family, even whilst they are far away. She loves to style it differently so she can wear it again and again: as a dress or as a jumper over bright shirts and bold ties. Today, she is wearing it over a shirt with her Hunter welly boots for an adorable autumn look that is prepped for puddle-jumping. Dèborah’s chunky, silver hoops, which also once belonged to her aunt, infuse her outfit with effortless glamour.
“It’s my favourite because it reminds me of home, especially during winter, I think because there are moments of loneliness and home sickness because of the cold and the rain, because of the great, because of everything.”
“It’s cosy, it’s stylish, it’s from someone that I love, it makes me feel like I’m being embraced by them…it helps me to feel close to them even when they are so far away.”
“Because I have a large family of women, we just swap things and give things to each other, so a lot of my clothes are from my aunt and some of my cousins.”
“I love hoops, I feel like they always give some style to an outfit: you can be wearing baggy clothes and you put your hoops on and you’re ready to party.”
Lots of us feel deeply sentimental about clothing that has been handed down to us from the people we love, be it family, friends or loved ones. Deborah’s story perfectly captures how wearing these items can help us to feel close to these people, even when they are thousands of miles away. When clothes are well made, and we take good care of them and mend them rather than throwing them away, we are building these deep attachments. This is a crucial step towards the de-growth that is urgently needed to address the fashion industry’s environmental impact. According to an article in the Guardian, in 2019 Britons bought 50 million ‘throwaway outfits’ for the summer season alone. In the UK 350,000 tonnes of worn but usable clothing go into landfill every year, equivalent to £140 million. Let's put a stop to this together.