Congratulations! You've made the conscious decision to cut off fast fashion habits and you’re moving towards slow fashion. We know it can be overwhelming when you're at the start of your journey. Here are four basics you need to know about making the switch:
1. You do not need to clean out fast fashion pieces from your closet
Before you start taking inventory on things in your closet that are derived from 100% organic materials or man-made polyester, stop. The most sustainable option is what you already have. Instead of donating your fast fashion pieces, find a way to fall in love with it again. Maybe you add your own flair to it by replacing buttons or you add lace to the neckline. Maybe you don’t change anything at all, but you find new ways to style it with other pieces that you own! The point is that you do NOT need to get rid of the fast fashion pieces in your closet and spend all of your money buying “sustainable” items.
2. Ask yourself if you REALLY need it
Want vs Need. That is the question. Companies release new styles weekly, some launch new products daily. Just because they are selling the newest or trendiest item, doesn't mean you need it. Identifying your wants vs needs is a great practice not only for slow fashion, but in all other aspects of your life. Instead of listening to what other companies say you need, listen to yourself. What do you truly need?
3. Learn how to care and repair
Care instructions aren’t added to every label to look cute. Care instructions are there for you to understand the best way to extend the life of your garment. What’s the point of buying a brand new artisan-made 100% GOTS certified organic cotton dress if you don’t wash it properly and it’s no longer wearable for you?
Alongside care, comes repair. Did you know that if a zipper stops working, you can replace it? How about buttons? If a button falls off or breaks, you can replace it instead of throwing it away or donating it! Try to get into the habit of extending the life of your items through care and repair techniques. Not only will you be able to wear your items longer, but you will also learn life-long skills!
4. You do not need to buy expensive sustainable investment pieces
There are other alternatives out there that are extremely affordable! Look for thrift shops, clothing swap meet-ups, or utilize online secondhand sites like ThredUp or Poshmark. If you are looking for something brand-new and are under a tight timeline, remember that there is nothing wrong with buying an item or two from H&M or Target. The main problem we face when talking about fast fashion is the idea of overconsumption.
There are many other ways that you can get started on your slow fashion journey, but these are the four basics that we always come back to. Always keep in mind that slow fashion is exactly that - s l o w. No matter where you are on your journey, whether you’ve been zero-waste for 5 years or you are starting today, no one should be asking you to make this switch overnight. This
is a lifestyle change and starting slowly with one focus at a time will help you build sustainable long-term habits.
Maybe your first step is attending a clothing swap or watching a few youtube videos on repairing clothing, wherever you decide to start, we’re here for you!
What are some tips that you have for those beginning their slow fashion journey? Tell us in the comments below!