Before getting into practices, what is slow fashion? It’s the exact opposite of fast fashion. Slow fashion is a conscious approach to fashion, mindful approach in buying clothing items that will last longer and values fair trade and cruelty free.
This quarantine has helped me a lot in understanding slow fashion better. I believed that its hard to do slow fashion with constant pressure of shopping and being bombarded with sales ads. But now with quarantine, with very few options to shop and no overwhelming sales emails, there has been a tremendous change in the way I shop. There are theories that people will come out of quarantine realising more value towards the clothes and a change in shopping mindset.
Here are some of the practices that I’ve been following for 2 years now and I can assure that these are a great start. Great thing about these practices are that they dont take much effort, will easily become your favorite thing to do because of the content feeling you’ll get for just doing.
Know more about your favorite brands:
This is the easiest step because who doesn’t love to know more about the brand they already love. Start with picking 1 or 2 brands that you frequently shop at and start researching about them.
- Pick the items that you bought from these brands and see the quality of the clothing, analyze it by how many wears and washes that garment went through and how well it looks currently compared to the time you bought it. Be the judge!
- Look for their ethical practices. There are some really good portals and apps that maintain a repository of brands that follow regulations. One of them is Good On You, the site gives a very detailed description of the transparency of the brand towards ethical fashion guidelines
Stay away from fast fashion brands:
You are doing everyone including the fashion industry good by staying away from fast fashion brands. Fashion is an art and all these fast fashion brands do is by playing the copycats of designers and selling it to consumers for a fraction of the price, that doesn’t sound right. Here are some cues to spot fast fashion brands:
- Site that has hundreds of new styles, covering almost all the latest trends
- No proper mention about the guidelines or labor practices on the site
- Price tags always marked with sale price, for some brands whole site is always on sale all year around
Start shopping from your closet:
Most of the times, the items that you want to buy are already in your closet. I have had scenarios where I added items in my shopping cart and revisit it only to find that I already have them in my closet. Here are some tips that helped me over the years to shop mindfully
- When you’re shopping online, add the items you like to the shopping cart and leave the site. Revisit the site after 24 hrs and see how many items you actually want to buy. Most of the times number of items will come down on an average from 10 to 2
- Start with window shopping – If you like to shop in store, plan 2 visits. First time, dont buy, just browse and make a mental note of the items you like and want to buy. Revisit the store after a day or two and see how many items you really want to buy. Like above scenario, you’ll be surprised to notice that the number of items coming down on the second visit
- Social media shopping – this happens when you see a cute outfit on the person you follow and you immediately want to own it for yourself. Social media has made shopping very easy with just a click. Now you can click on the link attached to the post/story and make an instant purchase. Next time, you find yourself in this scenario, do it from your closet. Before hitting that “buy” button, take a quick look at your closet. Most of the times you’ll find the exact or similar item hanging in your closet
- Add seasonal closet cleaning to your calendar (4 times an year). During every cleaning session, try to segregate clothes into 4 categories – NonSeasonal(This goes into the storage), Seasonal(this goes back into hanging/or folded), Donate (good condition but doesnt fit into your style anymore) and throw (not wearable). Out of all the categories, throw is the one you have to analyse. Try to Pick each and every item and find the reason why it cant go back into your closet or cant be donated. I’m sure the reason will mostly be bad quality. Make a note of the fabric and the brand and try not to purchase from that brand again
I’ve shared more tips on how to enjoy fashion in a sustainable way in this blog post – Sustainable Fashion for beginners
If you find these tips useful, please let me know in the comments section and feel free to drop your views on slow fashion and any tips you follow for enjoying fashion responsibly
Celebrate fashion responsibly