First of all, how is it July already?! I can’t believe we’ve already made it halfway through 2021! There’s always lots going on in July, with the kids getting ready to finish the school year, me working extra hard to get work finished before they break up and of course it’s time for Slow Fashion Season!
What is Slow Fashion Season?
Slow Fashion Season is basically a 90 day pledge to buy no new clothing from July to September. It’s all about reusing what we already own, swaping or borrowing clothes or embracing preloved and second hand clothing. I already mostly shop second hand and vintage, so I always really enjoy taking part and seeing what everyone else is sharing online and making more of an effort to share my own second hand looks. It’s also a great opportunity to really think about our fashion choices and how they impact the planet and the people who live on it. It’s also a great chance to break habits and think differently about the way we buy and wear clothing.
Before I go on, I just want to note that dressing sustainably isn’t always as accessible to everyone due to size, disability, financial reasons etc and when I talk about sustainable fashion and vintage shopping, I wan’t to keep this a judgement free zone. Having choices and the ability to find things I love that fit me is a privilege that I don’t take for granted.
Why we need to think about slow fashion
The fashion industry is one of the most damaging industries for both people and planet. The garment industry is responsible for polluting rivers, using huge amounts of water to create one single garment (2700 to make one t shirt) and creating unimaginable amounts of waste. Did you know that the garment industry is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions and contributes more to climate change than aviation.
Garment workers often work very long hours, in unsafe conditions for below the living wage. They have no rights to paid leave, no maternity benefits and are often subjected to sexual harassment and violence at work. All while big brands make huge profits for their work. It’s just not OK and as our awareness of this increases, it should make us think twice about where and from whom we buy our clothes. It definitely makes me value any new clothes I buy more and not waste them or treat them a disposable items.
I could write a whole book about all this, but luckily lots of other people have already, if you want to know more about why sustainable fashion is so important I’d recommend reading How to Break up with Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo and Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas.
Why we Need a #FashionDetox
I’ll be honest, I love shopping, I love fashion and I love clothes. Putting a great outfit together and wearing it makes me feel fabulous. Shopping can also be both fun and addictive. I really do love a bit of retail therapy! However over the last few years I’ve made the switch to almost entirely buying second hand, not only because of the environmental and ethical reasons, but also for financial reasons. I like to invest in vintage things I really love, that are a bit special and I will wear for years, but I also love having a rummage and finding bargains too. It’s mostly just about breaking the habit of buying too much fast fashion.
It’s become so ingrained in us not to repeat outfits, to always buy something new and with high street shops literally bringing in new stock every week, its all a bit much to keep up with. Many of us feel oppressed by owning too much, while still feeling the pressure to buy more and it’s definitely time to set ourselves free from this cycle.
Why Preloved Clothing is Amazing
I love the idea of buying something second hand, wearing it, caring for it and loving it and then either selling it or donating it so someone else can do the same. Fashion can be circular and by now I’m sure many vintage garments have worked their way through numerous people’s wardrobes and been loved and worn for literally decades, more that any modern fast fashion garment could be. That’s a bit magical really, if clothes could talk, the stories they would tell!
Repair, Rewear, Share
One of the things I’ve really embraced since I switched to making slower fashion choices is getting to rewear all my favourite things over and over. Fashion can be such a great creative outlet and finding new ways to style what you already have can actually be really fun.
I’ve also got much better at repairing and doing small mends on clothing. Most jobs only take a few minutes and are usually just sewing on a new button, mending a little tear or putting some extra effort into removing a stain. Being mindful to not wash things until they need it and to do the gentlest wash possible, also helps to prolong the life my clothing.
I also love the idea of sharing my clothing, although I don’t have any friends who are the same size as me, so I’m looking into doing more clothes swaps when things open up a bit more.
How to take part in Slow Fashion Season
If you’d like to take part in slow fashion season be sure to follow @slowfashion.movement on Instagram and sign up for Slow Fashion Season 2021 on the Slow Fashion Movement website. You’ll be sent lots of updates and useful information. I really enjoyed todays newsletter. The most important thing is to set the intention to do better and try to make more conscious fashion choices. Most of all try to have lots of fun rewearing all the lovely things you already own and maybe even go out and find something lovely second hand to wear with what you already own.
If you’d like to keep up to date with what I’m wearing over Slow Fashion Season, how I’m rewearing my clothes and lots of vintage fashion ideas follow me over on Instagram. I also have lots of new things on the Vintage Frills Shop, so if you need something pretty and vintage to add to your wardrobe, please go and take a look.
Check out the Fashion section of the blog for lots of vintage styling advice and ideas.
Ways to follow Vintage Frills