The Milkmaid Top

Image Credit: Ellie McCreanor. Graphics by Nurina Iman Nizam, Modelling by Laura Larkin

Ellie McCreanor talks how to rock the Milkmaid Top trend sustainably.

The Milkmaid top is a trend that has graced Instagram feeds and fast-fashion websites for a few years now. The dreamy puffy sleeves have us lusting after that CottageCore aesthetic that so many influencers are pulling off effortlessly. But can this trend, or any trend, be achieved sustainably? There has been a negative stigma surrounding second-hand shopping and particularly charity shopping for years. Words like second-hand, charity shop and hand-me-downs immediately sparked thoughts of old fashioned, worn out and ugly. However, with the popularity of sustainable fashion on the rise, unique charity shop finds are now cool and vintage fashion is arguably mainstream. Because of this, these on-trend pieces are becoming more and more available second-hand.

Photographed above are three different Milkmaid tops. One is from H&M and bought on a whim for a night out. Another is also H&M but found in a charity shop a week later, and the last is handmade from an old shirt. Charity shops and hand-making clothes are fabulous options for recreating trends sustainably. However, it can be difficult to find specific styles in charity shops, and hand making clothes just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But don’t fret, there are still plenty of sustainable and second-hand options out there.

Apps such as Depop and Vinted are continuously growing in popularity as both re-buying and re-selling platforms. Depop, being the most popular, is extremely user friendly and is almost like buying from clothing websites with its filter feature and curated explore page. Other options include vintage shops both online and on the High Street. Trends repeat, so the originals can often be found vintage. Dublin boasts a plethora of vintage shops such as Nine Crows, Lucy’s Lounge and The Harlequin to name a few. Apps and vintage shops are great sustainable options if you are not a fan of the hunt involved in charity shopping and still want to grab a bargain. If you really fancy something new but still want to stay on the sustainable trend train, sustainable brands are a great option. Olivia Rose The Label hand-makes stunning Milkmaid style tops and dresses. Based in Edinburgh, her tops are made to order, which in turn means her pieces are size inclusive . She sources her fabric locally from the UK. Sustainable clothes are often slightly more expensive due to the time, effort and ethical labour practices adhered to in the making of the items so they can be more of an investment piece (but definitely worth it). Keeping up with trends is important to lots of people and is something that is enjoyed by many. However, trends come and go, and in the fast-paced world of fashion, they can change almost weekly. So, when buying an on-trend piece ask yourself how many times you will wear it. Can you think of at least five outfits that you can wear it with? And, most importantly, can you buy it second-hand or sustainably?