Fashion bloggers, Instagrammers, influencers, and general fashionistas buy A LOT of clothing each year. This has a negative impact not only on our wallets, but also on the environment and our clothing supply chain.
I recently discovered Elevated Layers, a company that is shaking things up by creating a more sustainable clothing cycle for influencers. The two tops I am wearing in the photos in this post were gifted to me by Elevated Layers as an example of what their service provides. I was not asked to write this blog post or promote Elevated Layers in any way, but I am excited about their business model and think you will be, too!
Influencers + Fast Fashion
The term “fast fashion” refers to how we as consumers are now shopping for clothing more frequently and cycling through trends quickly. This phenomenon is due to advances in technology as well as the increased availability of less expensive fashion brands, such as Forever 21 and H&M.
Because content creators often want to wear a variety of the latest styles in order to create unique, fashion-forward content, we go through clothing at an even faster rate than the rest of the population. This gets expensive, but even worse, it is bad for other people and the environment.
Fast fashion brands are able to produce mass amounts of clothing at cheap prices by sourcing clothing from countries that lack minimum wage laws and good working conditions. This means the products are much cheaper to make. The problem with this model is that real human beings like you and me are forced into unsafe or substandard factories (like Rana Plaza), required to work 14 hours each day, and paid as little as 25 cents per hour for their services.
The environmental impacts of fast fashion are also negative. Clothing production uses a tremendous amount of water (1.3 trillion gallons a year for fabric dyeing alone), emits harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, and gobbles up natural resources.
All of this to say, those of us who try to stay on top of the latest fashion trends but also care about sustainability and ethical production are left in a pickle! That’s where Elevated Layers is offering an innovative solution.
Elevated Layers: The New Clothing Rotation Model
Elevated Layers is a clothing rotation company that allows influencers to “borrow” luxury clothing for a period of time and then return the garments to Elevated Layers in exchange for new ones.
Clothing rotation is a great model for content creators who want to showcase the latest styles and hottest brands without actually purchasing all of that clothing. Elevated Layers estimates that users of their service will receive up to $23,000 of clothing to wear each year, but will only pay $2,100 per year for their membership. That means over $20,000 in savings each year!
This rotation model reduces the demand for fast fashion working conditions and decreases impact on the environment. If we are sharing clothing with others rather than all going out and purchasing our own, we are reducing our carbon footprint and resource consumption. This is so much more sustainable.
The Future of Clothing Rotation
My hope is that clothing rotation models will soon extend beyond influencers and luxury labels to reach the general public. Not everyone can afford a luxury service like Elevated Layers, and many of us don’t care if our clothing has a prestigious label.
I have seen a similar model in the denim industry with the British brand MUD Jeans, which features a “circular” business model. Their “Lease a Jeans” program allows you to return your jeans to the company once you are done wearing them, and they shred the denim to create a new pair of jeans for someone else. Pretty cool!
I am hopeful that the emergence of brands like Elevated Layers and MUD Jeans means that additional clothing rotation companies are on their way!
I’d love to hear from y’all in the comments. What do you think of this business model? Would you be interested in buying into a rotated clothing service?
What a cool idea! I have been leaning towards creating a smaller capsule wardrobe to help cut down on the fast fashion trends. Quality over quantity.
Love that! I enjoy seeing the outfits you create from your capsule wardrobe!
I love this post and the idea! I just watched “The True Cost” and learned so much about the unethical practices within fast fashion. These alternatives are so important! Thanks for sharing☺️
Oh man! The True Cost is so horrifying but also so well done and important! Thank you for also being an advocate for more fair, sustainable ways of living!
It’s a great idea. I don’t think I spend even $2000 on clothing for myself in a year, so I don’t think a program like that would be very cost effective for me, but I like the idea for fashion content creators for sure!