Hey all! This time round I thought - considering I've decided to take part in Slow Fashion Season 2019 - I'd talk to you guys about what you can do instead of buying new clothes and contributing to fast fashion.
Slow Fashion Season is a period of 3 months - this year from 21st June to 21st September - where those who decide to take part commit to not buying ANY new clothes for the entire period! The rules do however, allow the trading of clothes and the buying of secondhand clothes. If you wish to look into SFS more then just follow this link, if you have been inspired to take part use the hashtag #SlowFashionSeason and tag me @ofatravellingnature on your Instagram posts!
If you haven't seen, the most recent fast fashion news includes the extremely controversial £1 bikini released from Missguided and the UK Government's decision to reject the 1p levy on all items of clothing to reduce the impacts of fast fashion. Considering that the fast fashion industry contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions and creates 20% of global waste water - which is larger than the shipping and aviation industries combined! - you can see that we have a big problem on our hands. By changing our addiction on the fast fashion industry in favour of the more sustainable slow fashion, hopefully we can reduce these impacts.
1. Buy secondhand. Great places to look are in charity shops, on Ebay or on Depop. Charity shops can be great places to buy secondhand as you can actually try the items on in most before you purchase. However, I feel like the downside is if you want something specific you might not be able to find it.
Ebay and depop are helpful but the problem is they produce air miles (the carbon emitted during shipping). The great thing about these sites though is that you can search for something specific and will most likely find it, unlike at charity or secondhand shops.
I have recently got a Depop account (@ofatravellingnature) so I can look for some work clothes for my year in industry as part of my degree. I love the idea of selling items of clothing online as that way you can make sure your clothes are going to a new home where they'll be used, with charity shops however, you cannot always be sure that you clothes have firstly gone out onto the rack or secondly will be sold on. If you wanted to donate the clothes so the charity can make money and definitely want to make sure it gets sold, why not sell the items yourself on Ebay or Depop and just donate the money to your preferred charity afterwards.
Another tip to remember whilst looking in a charity shop or in an online secondhand service is that you aren't just limited to one section or range, choose clothes that you want to wear! For example, mens t-shirts can be used if you want an oversized effect or you can alter the clothes you have bought to make them fit how you like.
Lastly, make sure you love the item! If you don't love it you won't want to wear it as much, wasting the energy and resources that went into making the item and also wasting the money you had spent on it.
Below is a wool jumper I got from a Vintage Kilo Sale that happened at my university last October, I absolutely love it and it's perfect for the cold winter months - if you didn't know jumpers are my absolute favourite item of clothing!
2. Alter the clothes you already have. Altering an item can be quite a simple task, though it depends what you want to do with it. Don't love a pair of jeans anymore? Why not cut them into shorts. Not sure how to restyle a t-shirt? Cut off the bottom turn it into a crop top or cut the arms off and turn it into a gym top. Jacket doesn't fit properly? How about making it more fitted.
If you aren't confident in altering it yourself, why not go to a seamstress to alter it for you, though you will have to pay for it, it makes it worthwhile if it turns the item into a dream piece or staple part or your wardrobe.
3. Fix your broken clothes. So your t-shirt has a hole in it, the buttons to your favourite shirt are coming off, the seam of your trousers is becoming loose. Why don't you fix it? Fixing you clothes instead of throwing them away firstly will save you a lot of money in the long run (saving you from buying a replacement) and
Somethings I've been meaning to get round to fixing for quite a while are the broken pockets within my Oasis coat that I've had since Autumn 2014 and sew up a few holes (...maybe more than a few *oops*) in a pair of pyjama trousers - last pair took me 3 hours to fix!
Again, if you aren't confident in fixing your clothes why not get a seamstress to do it. It will increase the life of the item and stop it going to landfill.
4. Have a clothes swap with friends. By swapping clothes with your friends instead of buying new you can mix up your wardrobe without spending any money!
5. Borrow items from your family/friends/other half. Borrowing items also allows you to mix up your wardrobe without spending any money. However, please make sure you get permission to borrow the item(s) before you take them as some people might not be to happy about it... cue the stereotypical sibling fights!
I asked my other half if I could borrow his teal jumper as I'd forgotten a jacket or hoodie. As you can see it's a little large for me, but I think I managed to style it out by half tucking it into my jeans!
I hope you've found these tips helpful, let me know if this blog post has made you think more about what you can do instead of purchasing new clothing items. If you'd like to discuss anything with me or suggest a blog post you would like to see, you are more than welcome to either contact my through my email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on my instagram @ofatravellingnature.