As a generation, they care deeply about the environment and sustainability – but are also under pressure to change their wardrobe constantly. Which impulse will win?
Alessia Teresko, a 21-year-old student from Nottingham, seldom wears the same outfit online twice. Which is why, last month, for a friend’s birthday, she bought a minidress: a 70s-style Zara dress in a swirling print, for which she paid £27.99. On Instagram, she posted a photograph of herself in her new dress, with a caption that read “Besties wknd”. The post racked up 296 likes and with it, Teresko’s Zara purchase was sent to the giant wardrobe in the sky. (Namely, the Depop account, where she resells the clothes she no longer wears.) “I can’t take another picture in it because I already posted it,” says Teresko. “I know that sounds very superficial.”
In Edinburgh, 23-year-old Mikaela Loach, a student and climate justice activist, understands the pressure that Teresko is under. “Honestly,” she says, “as someone with a platform, even I feel pressure to be wearing different clothes online.” She buys her clothes secondhand. “Only if I can’t find it secondhand,” Loach says, “will I buy something new and then make sure I’ve done rigorous research on the company.”