This month I'm joining Karen from Fringe Association (@slowfashionoctober on Instagram) to celebrate the slow wardrobe. What does that mean? Good question. Here's my take on the Introductions theme for week one per the Slow Fashion October Outline:
"Slow Fashion" is a broad term used to describe clothing created in response or opposition to "Fast Fashion," or the practice in the fashion industry (and our culture) of having not two or four, but fifty-two seasons of fashion per year. A new trend is born weekly, so that we as consumers feel that we "need" the newest, best thing - and since it's dirt cheap, we buy it (Forever 21, I'm looking at YOU).
Most folks think this is only a problem for our own wallets/closets, but the damage goes much, much further than that. To create cheap clothes, harmful materials are used, factory employees are massively underpaid and are forced to work in unsafe (sometimes deadly) conditions, and the clothes are undervalued by consumers, leading them to an early trash heap (oh well it was cheap, I'll just throw it away).
This destroys our planet. This destroys our wallets. This increases our anxiety as we try harder and harder to keep up with advertiser's impossible demands to be "beautiful."
In 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, that figure is 30 outfits - one for every day of the month (source: Forbes). Those nine outfits were local, well-made, high-quality materials, etc. and women invested in their pieces one at a time. An item had to check a lot of efficiency boxes and be able to be worn many, many times before it was deemed worth the investment.
This, to me, is slow fashion. First of all, it is NOT buying things I don't NEED. And when I do need something, I take it SLOW. I dig a little. I find something that is made of kind materials, preferably locally, and traded fairly. I look at the fit, comfort, and versatility of the item in my own life and closet. I think about it for a while, to make sure it's not just a whim. And then, I invest.
Calming the craze in my brain of seeing shiny things and, like a child, reaching out for more, more, more.
Finding joy in the things I already own and getting creative or borrowing from a friend first. I could go on and on.
Let's just chill.
Let's just take it slow for a while.
If you're interested in finding out more, check out these easy sources:
P.S. - I'll be posting on this topic throughout the month on Instagram, so you can check there for more - and I'd love to know your thoughts on slow fashion and how we can begin to transition to kinder wardrobes.