Jul 28

Can sharing clothes lead to friendship?

by Florenne Earle Ledger

International friendship day felt like the perfect time to think about all the ways our clothes have brought us closer to our besties. We’re the first people to start a low key ted talk at a social gathering about why fast fashion is awful, so we know borrowing clothes is great for the environment, but turns out it’s great for friendships too.

We chatted with two besties, Sophie and Juhi, about all the pieces they love sharing and all the best things about sharing clothes with your friends/people in your wider circles.

Seeing as we usually arrange to borrow clothes from friends over text, it made sense to do the interview over text as well. We created a group chat with me (Flo) and Nona from Whering, and Sophie and Juhi, so it felt like a natural environment to chat all things borrowing📱

The Interview

F: Can you talk about people's obsession with owning things rather than just borrowing them? Why do you think we may subconsciously feel this way?


I guess if I'm honest, I think it's kind of like an ego thing. Sometimes I feel like people want to own their own clothes and their own bags and their own cars, etc, and if you borrow or rent or something, people might think, ‘Oh, they can't afford that’. But there is literally no shame in borrowing. It’s a really cool way of exploring your style, whether it's done through necessity or through choice. It's a great way to experiment with your fashion while not having a negative impact on the planet.


I agree with Sophie, society puts pressure on people to fall in line with a certain standard that pushes people to crave that ‘new item’ feeling which often leads to impulse buying.

N: Sophie, sometimes you post on your story asking if anyone has an item fit for an event you’re going to- has borrowing clothes actually started a friendship?


It’s definitely connected me to people in the sustainable fashion industry who have all been so lovely! I needed to borrow a dress for a themed party and didn’t want to buy new/have time to organise a rental so asked on my stories and got so many lovely responses!

Sophie ended up wearing this beautiful dress, which someone lent her in response to her stories, to a Gatsby-themed party.

N: What are some fav pieces that you’ve borrowed from others?


I honestly borrow from so many of my friends, but there's a top that my housemate has, and it's literally just a white tank top with an embroidered logo on the front. But I love a good tank, and I probably borrow this a few times a month at least, because I just think it's so nice, it goes with so many different things. I honestly just love a good tank.


For me there’s my silk vintage skirt, Sophie has borrowed a few times and looks stunning in it.


F: Other than the tank top and stunning silk vintage skirt, is there anything you borrow so much that it’s basically co-parented?


Oooo I’d have to say Juhi’s linen trousers, they’re honestly the most flattering things and are so perfect for summer I’m always asking her for them! I think she also got the from eBay so they’re extra susty 💚


They are eBay’s finest! I would say I am a proud co-parent of those trousers along with Soph.


F: Do you think having the same style as your friends is necessary when borrowing and lending clothes?


I think it does help in terms of everyday shares, but also it’s fun to experiment and try different styles and to not have to buy something new in case you risk not wearing it again. Having a diverse style within your friendship group is actually an asset more than a draw back I think!


I agree with Soph, it’s definitely not a necessity when borrowing or lending, but it can be helpful. I think it’s exciting to have different styles as your friends and try out different looks together.

F: If you happen to be lending something to someone you don’t really know that well, how do you establish trust?


I’d probably ask to go for a coffee or grab a glass of wine first! A chat and honesty is always a good place to start when it comes to building a sense of trust. Being honest about the love for your clothes may make that person more careful with your pieces.


I'd say it depends on the person and what vibe you get from them so you can ask them a few questions and just gauge their vibe. Make sure that they're happy to dry clean it if necessary. And you can take before and after photos and all that kind of jazz.

N: What 3 words come to mind when it comes to a successful borrow and lend relationship?


I would say trust, shared values, and obviously style 💅


Experimental, thoughtful, and fun💛

F: In a perfect world, how do you imagine borrowing and lending on a bigger scale?


I would say if I was thinking big, I would love to borrow from some of my favourite influencers and some of my favourite brands if they had samples that they weren't going to sell on and that they had in their archives that they could lend out that would be really, really cool.

A lot of influencers and brands that I like have things I couldn’t necessarily buy right now. I think making items more accessible to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to buy their clothes would be really cool.


I’ve seen big brands doing swaps of designer bags and items that have the same values, maybe one day it can be done as a lend/borrow rather than a swap!

It was so great to speak with these two about how their relationship has changed with each other and clothing/fashion/style thanks to borrowing clothes. Circular fashion is so much fun, we hope more people see the beauty of borrowing!

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