It’s time to take a step back and reflect on our clothing habits, lest we reach a dead end. The fast-paced fashion world has done enough damage to Mother Earth, both knowingly and unconsciously. It will only incur her wrath if it continues to do so. While fast fashion is a low-cost solution for people with limited financial means to keep up with the latest fashion trends, it comes with a far larger social cost than one might expect.
According to a survey, a truck loaded with discarded clothes arrives at a landfill almost every other second in some parts of the world, accounting for 85% of all clothing produced per annum. It’s mostly due to the compromised quality that lasts no longer than a few months. All this textile waste results in a huge loss of the valuable resources that were used in manufacturing and poses potential risks to the global ecosystem.
Given that, it’s time we shifted to a slow fashion. What’s slow fashion, though? This article defines slow fashion and gives you some tips on how you can easily afford it.
What is Slow Fashion?
Slow fashion is a response to the environmental threats posed by consumerism. As opposed to fast fashion, it refers to the production of clothes without harming the biodiverse world we live in. For that matter, it uses eco-friendly materials and doesn’t employ practices that damage our ecosystem, such as animal killing or dumping toxic waste into the sea. It involves workers from within the local community who create clothes mainly by hand, hence promoting local craftsmanship along with preserving the environment.
The price of a product that is a creation of slow fashion is comparatively high and cannot be afforded by everyone. However, considering the value it offers, it’s justified. And then, it’s not impossible to build a wardrobe with slow fashion apparel. Here’s how you can go about it.
Buy One Instead of Two
Quality should be more important to you than quantity. Instead of buying two cheap pairs of jeans that you are going to discard soon, invest in one good-quality pair you can wear for years.
Slow fashion apparel may appear costly, but it lasts longer than fast fashion clothing. No matter how accurate a replicated fast fashion piece of clothing is, it can’t be matched with the original version.
Go for Multi-Purpose Clothing
Multi-purpose clothes such as jeans, T-shirts, and shorts that you can wear in multiple ways can also help you afford slow fashion. For example, rather than buying a $4000-worth designer dress that you are going to wear only once or twice, buy a t-shirt or shirt that you can combine with different pants and wear on different occasions.
Don’t Let all Fashion Trends Hit Your Wardrobe
You should be aware of your body type and know what suits you before you purchase a piece. You certainly don’t need the silk gown you spotted on a mannequin if it doesn’t compliment your body.
No matter how stunning a piece appears to be, if it doesn’t look stunning on you, it makes no sense to spend money on it.
Use Accessories to Enjoy Different Styles
Accessorizing is a great way to renovate an outfit. You can wear one piece in a variety of ways. For instance, if you have a high-end B-Corp maxi, you can wear it differently by just adding a new accessory, such as a mens rhinestone belt in place of the gold chain you slung over it last time.
Accessories can change the entire look of a dress. So, next time you are going to part with a high-quality piece just because you don’t like its look, think again!
Retailoring is another way you can continue to own the pieces you once loved. I remember how my mother would always cut my worn-out branded pants into shorts I would love to wear on picnics.
If you or anyone you know can sew and stitch, by changing a few details, such as removing the hood of a pullover or adding an accent pocket to a plain monochrome shirt, you will fall in love with the piece all over again.
Prefer Handmade Clothes
Handmade clothes are slow fashion apparel. Preferring handmade clothes is a great way to promote artisans while also promoting a clean and healthy industrial environment with no hazardous discharge and lower fuel and power consumption.
Keep an Eye Out for Discounts
Almost all stores offer clearance sales and discounts from time to time. Subscribe to all of your favorite slow fashion brands’ newsletters and emails, and follow them on social media to stay posted on their latest discount deals and seasonal arrivals.
If luck happens to be in your favor, the piece you’ve been eyeing but have been putting off due to the hefty price tag may be offered at a 70% discount.
Buy Second-Hand Clothes
Secondhand shopping is an ideal way to afford slow fashion. The secondhand market has trebled what it was a few years ago and is expected to grow even larger, hitting $77 billion in value by the end of 2025. You can find a plethora of stores online that sell used clothing.
Bonus Tip: Shop Off-Season
Buying a handwoven sweater when winter is at its peak or a sleeveless dress made of organic cotton while summer is in full swing may rip you off. It, therefore, makes sense to buy clothes off-season.
Let’s Sew it Up
While technology has simplified and minimized the manufacturing process to an incredible extent, the social cost it bears is enormous.
Slow fashion is modeled on the grounds of ethics and sustainability. With a view to reducing pollution and creating an environment where no living being is hurt – physically, emotionally, or socially – it aims to take the fashion world back to the time when human effort produced goods – rather than technology.
Due to high-quality materials and labor intensity, slow fashion apparel is usually more expensive than fast fashion products. However, by following the tips above, you can easily manage to have a slow-fashion-only wardrobe.