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The Rise of the 15-minutes City & Seasonless Fashion

There are silver linings to be found in the dark stormcloud of Covid-19 as fresh consumers habits emit from the series of lockdowns. Here, Harpers Fashion explores how a slower-paced life has put the brakes on our ingrained shopping habits and encouraged us to adopt new, more sustainable ones. 


The pandemic may have felt like an endless run of restrictions, but the barriers it’s brought about have, in turn, opened up new doorways to the way we work, socialise and shop. Most notably, we’ve seen a huge surge in community spirit as constraints on travel have largely taken commuting off the table, resulting in a renewed emphasis on localisation. We’ve got to know our neighbours, nearby amenities and bordering businesses so much better.

fashion lifestyle

The Fashion Lifestyle

This switch to a more confined lifestyle has incidentally bolstered an urban planning model that could forever change metropolitan life as we know it – cue the ’15-minute city’. The concept is to decentralise large dense city centres and instead create a series of smaller, surrounding neighbourhood cities where residents’ requirements can be reached within just 15 minutes of their homes; by foot, bike or public transport. The key benefit being significant pollution reduction but also stronger local communities. 

Paris is leading the way in implementing such a model, but following changes in consumer habits as a direct result of Covid-19, many more cities around the world are already looking to mirror the approach. It will come as little surprise that as well as an increase in shopping locally, the pandemic also caused a rise in internet usage. But with extra time on our hands, we consumers took that same community approach online by seeking out and purchasing from lesser-known, independent businesses.

15-minute City Plan 

Similarly to the 15-minute city plans, this concept was initially sparked by the Socially Responsible

need to lessen our impact on the environment, but radical lifestyle changes during the pandemic have meant it’s gained extra traction. Clued-up brands and designers quickly reacted to the fact that consumers were buying less and seized the opportunity to position practical pieces that could be transitioned for numerous looks, and seasons. 

Take a white shirt, for example, a wardrobe classic that during lockdown periods could easily be worn around the house with jersey trousers or leggings but that come summertime can be worn over a dress or tucked into tailored shorts.

Knitwear and denim provide further examples of easily adaptable pieces that can be creatively refashioned in numerous different ways. Even what would usually be considered a ‘holiday dress’ can be styled for the cooler months of the year by layering and wearing with tights and boots. 

As we emerge from the restrictions with feelings of euphoric freedom, urges for impulse buys are likely to be high. However, taking a seasonless approach to purchases and investing in timeless, quality and adaptable key pieces can save both money and the planet.

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