With the arrival of my favorite month of the year comes not only spiderwebs, candy, and spoopy movies, but also one of my favorite multi-platform slow celebrations: Slow Fashion October.
What is Slow Fashion October?
In her own words, creator Karen Templer of Fringe Association describes Slow Fashion October (@slowfashionoctober) as: “A celebration of the small-batch, handmade, second-hand, well-loved, long-worn, known-origins wardrobe.”
This conversation is now in its third year and spans multiple platforms, including blogs, Instagram, in-person events, and whatever other medium you love. It is an incredible way to celebrate the different perspectives in the slow fashion community and how the lifestyle impacts our wardrobe choices (and other aspects of life) differently.
For anyone who may be confused, there are a few different threads (ha!) of thought on making responsible fashion choices, and you may find labels like Ethical Fashion, Sustainable Fashion, and Slow Fashion (and maybe even more) hard to differentiate. If you’d like an excellent explanation of the difference between these movements, I’m actually going to point you to my girl Cat from Restitchstance and her comprehensive post for those just starting out.
Each week will see a new prompt for discussion starters from Karen, and our first topic is...
This could not be a more perfect discussion point for my involvement in the ethical/slow/etc fashion community, because over this past summer I feel like I've finally begun to interact with just that... this lovely community.
I've made friends and found inspiration from so many beautiful people this year, and I can't wait to share with you the ones who have impacted my involvement the most, and who have inspired me the most, and whose content I hope you will investigate and find value in as well.
To start, though, I'll tell you a bit about me.
I'm 27. I'm married with two beautiful cats and a teeny, perfect apartment. I began thinking about streamlining and simplifying my lifestyle when we got married and found ourselves neck-deep in mounds and mounds of stuff, which we packed into a three-bedroom, two bath house with a two-car garage which we couldn't fit a car into.
Because of all the stuff.
I tried out a capsule wardrobe and loved the feeling I got from just having enough, rather than way too much. I followed my feet into minimalism, and I haven't looked back since.
We sold our crap, moved to an apartment in the city, and started collecting experiences instead of material things.
Now, it wasn't just a simpler lifestyle that led me to ethical and slow fashion - it was also a growing concern for the environmental impact of our over-consumption lifestyles, for animal welfare, and for unacceptable trade practices in the fashion industry.
I was so captivated by the cause of ethical fashion and a slower, more meaningful lifestyle that I decided not only to begin my journey, but to blog about it and try to share my experiences with my friends and family. And now here we are.
Fun Fact: It's funny, but it was really Emma Watson that opened the door initially for me. Her involvement with People Tree back in 2009 that planted the seed of interest, but it wasn't until 2015 when I came back around the idea.
So, now you know a bit about my beginnings in ethical fashion. What I'm much more excited about is this bit, where I get to share a few of the folks who have impacted my journey the most, and some of the tools I've found most helpful as I learn and grow through the process.
Karin Rambo from Truncation Blog (Ethical Fashion)
Karin has been a staple in my capsule wardrobe evolution, and has been an incredible resource for ethical fashion thoughts and feels. Her blog has been with me from the beginning, and I'm super glad to be able to call her my friend as well. To quote her, "the definition of truncation is to shorten or reduce. And I think one of the most broken and harmful systems on our planet is the world of fast fashion and unethically produced goods. So my hope is to inspire you to reduce the amount of “product” that you bring into your home and to shorten your ecological and slavery footprints." YAS, Karin.
Ani Lee from Close Knit (Slow Fashion)
Ani is one of the most free-spirited creators I've encountered, and she has changed the way I think about clothing, outfits, and being who you are with no apologies. Her poetic content is beyond inspiring, and her values are closer to true "Slow Fashion." Her podcast is all about that knitting life, and I envy her socks like you wouldn't believe. Her expat Tasmanian life is quaint and heartfelt, and her outfits are artsy, home-grown, and filled with play.
And I also feel like I can dance without shame now.
Natalie Kay from Sustainably Chic (Sustainable Fashion)
What a huge influence Natalie has made! Her impact on my journey as well as tons of others' is absolutely priceless. Natalie has a background in the fashion world, but once she saw the way things worked, she "did not want to stay in the industry unless [she] was changing the way business was done." She has partnered with brands across the globe to spread awareness of their good, good work in making fashion more environmentally friendly, and has helped me connect with excellent resources and products throughout the years.
More fab folks:
And as if that weren't enough, here are even more incredible folks who contribute to the slow/ethical/sustainable fashion worlds with beautiful, helpful content:
If you're looking to get more information or to actually begin finding brands, these ladies are a great place to start. Other tools I've found helpful are:
And that's it for my first contribution to #SlowFashionOctober 2017! Here's to a great month of learning, discovering, and conversation. Till next time,