to buy or not to buy: what are the questions?
Slow fashion means something different to everyone, and to me it's defined by the rejection of fast fashion culture. In other words, it's the decision to switch up your mindset instead of your style.
fast fashion culture
Instagram was created while I was in high school, and with that came the discovery by fashion brands that they could advertise their work in a uniquely social and digital setting, direct from HQ to consumer. By appearing alongside online personal posts by our closest friends, they could carve a sought-after space in our day-to-day scrollings to build a relationship with each of us.
And boy did the salary from my summer job waitressing connect with 'em.
Fast fashion adverts might have be sitting on the phone screen in the palm of my hand, but they certainly had me in the palm of their hand.
As is the nature of everything digital, the emergence of the unnerving phenomenon of personalised ADs followed very soon after ( if one more promotion for Parisian vintage shops appears on my Instagram, I will scream ) . It's undeniable that the relentless online marketing of many fast fashion brands have found found their way to occupy a landfill's worth of our attention, but it's so important to remember that this doesn't mean our spendings need to correlate.
I was well and truly consumed by the culture surrounding consumption, feeling the pressure on a daily basis to buy a new product to become a new, on-trend version of myself. Of course, my finances did not come anywhere close to actually enabling this level of spending, and this certainly took its toll on my self esteem.
slow fashion culture
Fast forward to eighteen months ago, I discovered the capsule wardrobe concept - a technique perfect for anyone starting out with slow fashion. I was so excited to learn that you can love fashion and be confident about your style and self without the need to buy new pieces on a weekly basis - it is so empowering, as dressing the way you love should be!
My new clothing purchases are made by me, without the influence of a thousand fast fashion brand Instagram posts screaming at me about this week's must-have ( aka next week's must-trash ) . I've learned so much about my own eye for style, and started to figure out what I feel most comfortable and confident in - and why.
This is why I champion this change in mindset from fast fashion to slow fashion so much - it's an opportunity to explore a creative and considered relationship with clothing that isn't dictated by a multi-million pound corporation. Think: less buying, more styling!
my criteria for new clothing
I've explored what I've learned about shopping thoughtfully to create a list of criteria for every new purchase, and each piece must tick at least one of the boxes.
This is what it comprises of:
Read my ultimate guide to figuring out the quality of clothing to know what you're looking for when shopping for thoughtful new pieces.
Not necessarily according to societal standards, but instead narrated by your own personal taste.
A brand that produces its pieces in a way which minimises their impact on the environment and / or constructs garments by utilising materials that don't detriment the wellbeing of the planet.
A brand which maintains high standards for the working conditions of its employees and / or one which does not involve unsolicited subcontracting for the creation of its garments.
If you're looking for more tips to start out with slow fashion, you might like this blog post.
How do you decide whether or not to buy a piece of clothing?