The blogosphere has been teeming with another interesting subject that I, of course, also had to take a stand on: Slow Fashion.
My reason for sticking my finger into this lies with the fact that I’ve been a bit uneasy about the excessive consumerism related to fashion blogging.
Ever since I made the decision of bringing my own style and views on trends out more prominently in my blog, maybe one day add a store of my own on this site, I also realized that that’s a bit contradictory with my will to save the world from the impending end (I call this the Mother Teresa syndrome and it’s a package deal that comes with the name).
What do I mean? What’s this ‘impending end’? If these thoughts just crossed your mind I suggest you take a look at a documentary ‘The True Cost‘ on Netflix or read the summary of the IPCC report on global warming and its short-term effects, or this amazing post by one of my favourite bloggers, Vix Meldrew.
Clothing industry is a huge contributor in wasting the planet’s resources and polluting our air and water, so being a fashion blogger at such a time puts a lot of pressure on us all. And is a bloody good reminder of how much responsibility influencers actually have!
I love fashion and I’m quite particular with my style. But I don’t shop much. Reason for that is simple; living is way too expensive to have money left for excessive shopping. Very often I have to make a decision between buying that pair of boots or 2 weekends out per month. Because I can’t afford both. But that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be stylish af!
Things weren’t always like this, though. While studying in Scotland I went shopping at least once a week. Primark quickly became my living room and if I found myself in the shoe section in New Look (I always found myself in the shoe section in New Look!) I wouldn’t leave the shop with less than 2 pairs of shoes in the bag.
I was a nightmare… Or was I? Actually, looking back at it now I could say I was unwittingly making a long-term investment into my future wardrobe.
I love stuff, but not in a way that a lot of people think. Instead of having the need to buy, buy, BUUYY all the time I tend to take extra good care of the clothes and accessories that I already have in the closet. This became a necessity when I was jobless after graduation and couldn’t even afford a coffee, and it’s a very good habit that has stuck with me since.
What is Slow Fashion?
Just like the Slow Food Movement, which came about in the 80’s and that celebrated food that’s simple, flavoursome and ecologic, the idea behind Slow Fashion follows the same theme.
That theme revolves around recycling rather than tossing your clothes, buying clothes made of materials that are sustainable and fairly produced (that basically rules out H&M, Newyorker, and other cheap labels that still use child labour and don’t pay sufficient salaries despite telling us so), and investing in a capsule wardrobe that consists of classic pieces.
The point is to invest in clothes that will last for more than 6 months and that are so versatile in colour and shape that you can re-style them year after year. No more Primark or H&M hauls. Tbh, just the thought of doing a Primark haul at the moment makes me a little bit sick.
But Slow Fashion doesn’t just lie on the individual consumer’s or a fashion blogger’s shoulders, oh no. When the movement grows momentum (which is what it has been doing for the past couple years already!) the producers and manufacturers start paying attention; their manufacturing processes become more transparent and when quality means more to the consumer than quantity, it will become a guideline to follow for manufacturers as well.
How do I contribute to Slow Fashion?
I am still considering setting up an online store of my own but I want to figure out a sustainable way to do it before I embark on that idea. In the meanwhile I will contribute to the Slow Fashion movement by only sharing affiliate links and promoting brands and products that I seriously, reeeally like.
Sharing less links with better quality is, in my view, better than sharing more links with absolute shit (by ‘shit’ I mean those Chinese online stores that sell make-up palettes for 1€ and forget to tell you that the eye shadow is actually made of nothing but led). I want to be sure that what ever I share and recommend on here is safe to use/wear and that I honestly like enough to shout out about it.
Another thing I already do a lot of is styling my old clothes. I’m still taking advantage of those Primark hauls I did in Aberdeen and London almost 10 years ago. If I do buy something new I want to make sure it’s something that I can style over and over again. If you think you can’t wear that T-shirt ever again, just take a look at Pinterest. The styling options for ANY piece of clothing are endless!
In fact, if you stroll through every single outfit photo on this blog, you can find only 2 items that I have bought this year: the pin stripe dress and black ALDO boots. And tbh, I could’ve actually continued living my life without either of those purchases. But everything else on here is at least a year old, most items closer to 10 years old.
How can YOU contribute to Slow Fashion?
First off, educate yourself. Watch a documentary on manufacturing clothes, or just cotton, read blog posts and news articles on Slow Fashion, talk about this with your friends and discover new view points.
Next, go through your closet and discover completely new ways to style your old clothes. Pinterest is a great assistant in this. Pick up that pair of basic jeans and take a look in the app; as I said before, the styling options for one piece of clothing are ENDLESS!
The outfit I’ve got on in these pictures is a good example of re-styling old clothes; the idea never crossed my mind that I could pair that particular, enormous pullover with that summer-like skirt and together make them an Autumn-appropriate outfit. But I did and it totally works! When you discover new outfits with old clothes the feeling of elation is the same as you’d get when leaving a store with a new outfit in the bag.
One thing that we like to do with my friends is call everyone over when one of us has the closet-cleaning craze. We each go though the things and every time there’s something that sticks, like the white hat in this post. If you think about it, it’s sort of a mixture of vintage shopping and recycling.
What you also need to do is to accept the fact that trends, all of them, go around and around. So, you don’t need to buy a new wardrobe every time a season changes in order to stay on top of the trend wave.
Leopard print is the perfect example of this; it’s always trendy but it becomes TRENDY again and again every couple of years. Same goes for those cork wedges, wide leg jeans, shoulder pads, etc., etc., etc. If you’ve already got them, just take good care of them and you’ll be a fashionista forever for a lot less money.
Let’s not kid a kiddo, a change like this comes slowly. Bloggers and Insta influencers will continue to push products onto your smart phone displays in the future as well, but it’s up to you to take a step back and think “Do I already have a product like that, which I could re-style?” Odds are, you definitely do.
And even if change is slow, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive towards it. Because the more of us start to pay attention to what we spend our money on the more clothing industry needs to pay attention and make changes accordingly.
I’m not saying “Stop shopping for good!”, hell to the no. I love shopping. But there’s more enjoyment in buying a piece that you know will last for years and that looks good for years rather than having to throw it away after 2 washes because there’s a hole in the middle of the fabric.
We’ve already embraced Slow Living, so time to move on to Slow Fashion. ;)