Brought to you by Opera Lane.
Throwaway culture has never been more unfashionable.
Less is more when it comes to buying clothes and accessories these days and one of the best ways to be more sustainable is to take a good look at what you already own.
More of us than ever are seeking alternatives to fast fashion, but often, the answer lies inside our heaving wardrobes, especially when it comes to accessories.
Whether you live for a designer treat or you scour Opera Lane for eclectic clutch bags or classic totes, handbags are a purchase that can be reused again and again down through the years, provided you care for them correctly.
Tricks of the trade
Ever opened a vintage purse only to be greeted by a puff of musty vintage air from inside it? Yeah, gross. Keeping the interior of your handbag collection fresh is key to enjoying each bag for many years to come.
Set aside an hour to carry out a quick spruce up and you could well be passing your favourite handbags down to future generations of sustainable fashion fans.
Here are five expert tips:
1. Handbags collect all manner of everyday dust and dirt. Use a damp cloth and a little gentle washing-up liquid to wipe leather bags and clean the handles and hardware on the outside. If you spot any mould, spray it with vinegar or lemon juice and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing well and air drying near a radiator.
2. Suede handbags and totes can be dry brushed gently with a soft-bristle brush (a new nail brush is ideal) to remove stains and revive the suede’s nap.
3. Use that tiny vacuum cleaner attachment to hoover the inside of larger bags. Wipe down the lining and allow to dry before popping in a scented dryer sheet or a spritz of Febreze to keep it fresh and prevent musty smells.
4. Always store designer handbags inside their dust bags. Ensure they are fully dry after every outing (wipe over with a paper towel if you get caught in the rain) and keep an eye out for any wear and tear – the sooner you make a repair the better the result will be. If you’re short on space you can hang the dust bags in your wardrobe.
5. The next time something you buy arrives wrapped in bubble wrap, recycle it by stuffing it inside your handbags. This will stop them from collapsing and retain their original shape for longer. Save silica gel packets to pop in too, they suck the moisture out of the air, keeping handbag linings smelling fresh.