What Is Slow Fashion? Basic Principles
I talk a lot about slow fashion, but the other day got a great question – where to start learning about slow fashion?
There are a lot of sustainable fashion and minimalist blogs on the internet, and these are a great place to start. But as far as I’m concerned, having a closet full of ethically made, or ultra basic clothing that you never wear is just as silly as shopping aimlessly and disposing of clothing on the regular.
Being a conscious consumer and building a mindful closet is actually way easier than you think. It all starts in the mind, my friends. It’s the daily purchase decisions you make (or choose not to make).
After pounding the shiny interiors of malls and boutiques for several years, I learned to become hyper focused and deliberate in my shopping. That, coupled with not having any space to store a lot of clothes turned me into a mindful consumer. More recently I’ve been learning about ethical, sustainable, and fair trade fashion, but ultimately, I realized that I could – and wanted! – to have fewer items in my closet that were of higher value to me.
So I thought about my transition and have created these 5 Guiding Principles for Slow Fashion. These are my own personal opinions and have worked for me but everybody is different – choose what works for you! If you find it helpful, Pin this nifty graphic for future reference or scroll on down for more detail.
QUALITY vs. QUANTITY
We hear this all the time, but I think everyone assumes they need to have oodles of cash to spend on investment pieces. But because a lot of the new sustainable brands coming out offer basics that they repeat every season, you won’t miss out. Quality can also exist in the mainstream markets or in vintage and secondhand shops. You just have to know what to look for. Reinforced seams, lining, extra fabric in a hem, patterns that line up, and natural fibres are all good indicators of quality.
Your clothes should be able to be styled multiples ways with many existing pieces in your closet. They should also be able to serve different occasions and scenarios – make those clothes work as hard as you do!
Functionality & Fit
Chances are if you don’t feel good in something it’s because it doesn’t fit quite right or it’s uncomfortable to wear. How likely are you going to pick something out of your closet if it’s uncomfortable? Not very. Be ruthless in the changeroom and purchase only clothes that you are comfortable in, or comfortable altering to fit the way you want.
This one should have been at the top! Take the time to discover your own personal style and you will find that shopping is way less overwhelming. When you understand what suits you and know what to look for, you will be able to zero in on pieces you love.
A garment’s life is never over. Whether it’s in great condition or has a stain that you just can’t get rid of, there’s always a way to give it new life. Get creative with altering garments – change a pair of jeans to shorts, a blouse to a sleeveless shell top – there are lots of options! If there is really nothing else you can do with your garment, seek out a textile recycler.
Need vs. Want
When you know what’s in your closet and have identified any gaps, your shopping habits will reflect your needs vs. wants. Create a wishlist – items that you’re missing and maybe an item or two that you’re coveting to keep it fun. Rather than take the fun out of shopping, your experience will be that much more rewarding as you become more satisfied with your closet.
Thanks so much for reading!