Being more Green by Slowing down our fashion
Updated: May 2, 2022
By Deimante Stankeveciute Introduction
This blog is about sharing my thoughts and experiences about how I think, see and approach fashion,
Fashion defines decades and centuries - We identify different times in history through their fashion choices, some trends such as mini skirts are decade-defining. Blue Jeans that were invented for the industry have become an irreplaceable staple in everyone's wardrobe.
I'm sure that many of us cringe at the fashion choices we made in the past.
Regardless of our own past experiences, it is becoming clear that with the advent of increasingly speeding up fashion - Our clothes and wardrobes have experienced a drastic transformation.
Fast fashion has transformed from a few seasons a year to 52 and more seasons of ever-changing chaos where everything we buy is out of date.
It went from things we made ourselves or made locally to something that is made in factories far away and our clothes have visited more places than we might in our lifetimes.
Clothes went from being made based on our needs to ready-made solutions that only fit standardised body shapes and where brands in order to reduce cost often exclude such essentials as pockets, especially in female clothing.
Fashion is now trend-based and often impractical and quick wearing.
Fast fashion has devalued the work, skill, craft, and effort that goes into making clothes.
All of this has made fashion homogenised and boring - I do not believe that sustainability - fashion and climate action need to stay that way - by finding new ways to enjoy what we love - we have an opportunity to create varied, interesting and sustainable lifestyles. A conscious approach to fashion can be one of the steps.
Seeking sustainable alternatives can be a form of rebellion, it can be a form of freedom of expression and help us discover what we love!
I want to share some ideas about how we might start becoming more conscious of how we consume and use fashion. This is by no means a perfect journey but these are some of the things that are helping me along the way
1 Finding Your own Style
One way to start becoming conscious of our fashion choices is by identifying and finding what we love and prefer to wear, identifying what clothes complement our natural shape as well as finding the colour and fabrics we prefer.
Having this knowledge and understanding can help us make more conscious fashion choices, it also has the potential to increase the number of clothes in our wardrobe that we will wear.
This is a great Ted Talk that examines and evaluates the deeper meaning of style.
2 Preference and Priority: Understanding why you are buying an item
No matter what ideas and ideals we might have about what we see as our ideal fashion choices. We may not always have the option to be fully sustainable in our fashion choices, there is no need to feel bad about it, the journey is just as important as the destination.
When a 100% sustainable option is not available here are some things that can be considered
Understand why we are buying the item.
Can I buy vintage - Vintage might not be an option for everyday basics and underwear as they get worn down.
Look into alternative ways of purchasing clothes- if it's an occasion: can we rent, borrow or creatively mix and match to create the perfect outfit for the occasion.
Finding a unique piece of clothing can also be seen as a need for self-expression and sometimes, we have to say yes if we know that that item will have its fair share of wear. (By wearing an item multiple times we are adding to the sustainability of the garment long term as we are fully utilising the resources that were used in its manufacture)
Does it match and go with things that we have already?
We do not have control over fast fashion supply chains, but we do have control over our wardrobes and what we keep and let into them.
Having a good understanding of our own preferences and style can make our choices more clear and more precise.
App and Website that rates Clothing brands based on Sustainability criteria they do the work so you don't have to.
3. Chose Quality over Quantity
When we make the choice to buy only things that we love, we want the close that we love to last and serve us well.
Fast fashion is not famous for its quality and longevity. Quality of the garment needs to be considered when buying clothes - while initially more expensive through multiple wears higher quality items might be cheaper long term
Considering the context of price per wear - fast fashion is actually the more expensive option = with clothes that might have limited use and multiple hidden costs= fast fashion clothes are often clothes that can not be resold in 2nd hand and charity markets as they can lose their shape after only being worn few times.
Because of the increasingly complicated mix of materials, they are very difficult or near impossible to recycle.
Buying more consciously and with quality in mind = has the potential to increase the lifetime wear of the clothes in our wardrobes.
A movie that looks into the true cost of fashion.
Trailer To River Blue: A documentary that talks about the damage that the fabric treatment industry is creating in our water supply
4. Make, Remake and Repair
Whatever might be the reason clothes do reach the end of their life
or there comes a time when we have to repair items to extend their life.
Learning the essential skill of repairing our clothes can contribute and help us reduce our carbon footprint. Once the essentials of sewing buttons and patching up holes have been mastered. We can grow and use this skill To take our creativity further we have the opportunity to find second uses for items we know we can not use in their current state- we can let our creativity flourish.
"Fashion Open Studio is Fashion Revolution’s showcasing and mentoring initiative since 2017. Through exhibitions, presentations, talks, and workshops with emerging designers established trailblazers and major players, we celebrate the people, products and processes behind our clothes."
5. Experiment, Explore and Have Fun
Fashion and the clothes we wear should not be something that limits our freedom of expression. By transforming how we dress we can reimagine and rethink how we approach fashion.
Fashion should be something that makes us feel comfortable, clothes should address our everyday needs.
I would like to encourage/inspire everyone to find their own rules while always keeping the lens of sustainability in mind. Have fun experiments be as loud or as simple as you want and don't pay attention to any of the fast fashion trends.
The Slowfashion Movement is a useful resource
When we think back to how the punk movement has started - its whole purpose was to go against the rules and conventions, while now it has become an aesthetic, trend and fashion style. Looking beyond the music looking beyond music and clothes by embracing sustainability and slowing down our fashion we are rebelling and breaking current conventional rules that are dictated by Fast Fashion. I see this as an exciting possibility and opportunity that opens up doors to infinite creativity
While this is a bold statement we need bold changes to create a positive future and one step we can all start with is through challenging and being conscious of our fashion choices!!!