' The Golden Stain Of Time ' : Repairing, reusing and reselling clothes is becoming more fashionable.

'' STUDENTS -PEOPLE- '' buy more clothes than they used to, and wear them less. Every second, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of textiles is dumped into landfill, or burned. 

Little wonder that fashionistas, particularly young ones, are becoming increasingly worried about the industry's impact on the environment.

In 2023 the backlash against fast fashion will continue to grow as part of a wider push toward ''circular'' business models, in which fewer new items are manufactured and more revenue is generated through recycling, resale and rental schemes.

Many brands will ramp up their repair services to encourage customers to mend damaged pieces of clothing instead of throwing them away.

LVMH, the world's largest luxury group, has promised shareholders that it will announce new ''sophisticated'' repair services by 2023. Hugo Boss's new resale platform will soon be extended with options to fix items, too.

Tommy Hilfiger also plans to scale up its repair offerings. Many designers, including  Arc'teryx, Barbour, Ganni, Patagonia and Uniqlo, already have programmes in place.In 2024 many more will follow suit.

The pandemic fueled this trend. '' We've all got pieces in the back of our wardrobe that just stay for years that need mending ...... the lockdown gave people time to really address that,'' said Laura Johnson of Make Nu, a business that does what she and her co-founder, Daisy Marlow, described as  ''elevated'' repairs.

As in kintsugi, a traditional Japanese art in which cracks in pottery are filled with powdered gold, Make Nu turns damage into a feature : flowers are embroidered into woolen jumpers devoured by moths, skinny-leg jeans refashioned into trendier flares, pearls added to give glitz to worn-out shirt cuffs.

Venture capitalists are throwing money into repairs, too. In 2022, Sojo, a London-based app which arranges drivers to ferry garments between tailor and customer, raised £2.2m in pre-seeded funding.

Save Your Wardrobe, another startup offering after-care services [ and nifty ''digital wardrobe'' technology that helps users keep track of what they own and what needs to be done to maintain it ] secured $3m from early investors.

It has teamed up with Zalando, Europe's biggest online clothes retailer,which recently announced plans to extend the life of at least 50 m products through resale and reuse by 2023.

Another platform, The Restory, which works with Selfridges and Harvey Nicholas, big department stores in London, and with Farfetch, an online boutique, has raised £ 4,2m.

Greater emphasis on repair and reuse does not mean that fast fashion will release its stranglehold on the market soon : one study reckons it will be worth over $200bn by 2030, up from nearly $690bn by 2020.

But in 2023 you may find yourself delving into your wardrobe to find something that can be given new life. John Ruskin, a 19-century British art critic, wrote that '' the golden stain time '' is what gives buildings grandeur.

A garment with history, too, can be far more precious than a new-one - as well as being kinder to the planet.

The World Students Society thanks Imogen White Co-ordinating editor, culture, The Economist.


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