“People seem willing to invest in higher quality items at a higher price point,” says Berry. “Unconscious consumption is falling out of fashion. It’s incredibly important that this thought trickles down through all levels of the market.” And, if spending more on a single item when incomes are low seems counter-intuitive, think again: “Less disposable income means less money to throw away on clothing each season. Priority will go to clothes that will be fashionable longer than a couple of months,” fashion historian Allison Pfingst told Instyle Magazine, earlier this year. Fashion trends, the most potent driver of speed in the industry, look set to come under some serious scrutiny.
This, along with the understanding that we might actually have enough out there already to keep ourselves decked out for decades, has led to a resurgence of interest in making and mending; the wartime cabinets seem to have got it spot on. Designers are also working on this. British menswear brand Connolly invited Portobello Market vintage-clothing stall owner and stylist, Frank Akinsete, to upcycle pieces from previous collections, highlighting the creativity of Akinsete and his fellow market-stall holders, in a moving photo series. Christopher Raeburn, of design studio Raeburn, recently launched Raefound, an evolving, non-seasonal range of unworn military clothing and accessories.