Thanks to social media awareness, slow fashion has become quite the buzzword. The large carbon footprint and the unethical working conditions in the fast fashion industry are urging many of us to adopt slow fashion.
Firstly, what is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is an awareness and approach to fashion that considers the processes and resources required to make clothing. It advocates for buying better-quality garments that will last longer and valuing fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.
But, you might still have some apprehensions and doubts about slow fashion. Is it realistic and actionable? Are slow fashion brands affordable? We got chatting with Sangeet and Prithvi from Exchange Room, a wardrobe swap community in an insightful Instagram live — and we have come up with this handy guide that will help you make slow fashion actionable in 2023, and ensure it isn't just a mere buzzword. Let’s dive right in!
Where do I start?
First of all, where do you start? If you’re overwhelmed and confused about the concept of fashion sustainability, then here are three simple steps to get you started:
As the name suggests, this step is about rethinking your choices. Do you often find yourself shopping for clothes that you don’t need? What are your personal preferences and values regarding sustainability? Thinking about answers to these questions will help you get started on your slow fashion journey.
Next, you can go through your existing wardrobe and declutter. Have a look at all the outfits that you already own. This will give you an idea of your current wardrobe situation. You might end up finding some beautiful pieces that you’ve completely forgotten about.
Finally, re-love the outfits that you own. You can embrace old clothes and make it a point to wear them more often.
You might have certain pieces that you no longer love - maybe they don’t fit you anymore, or they just don’t match your current style. Well, if not you, then someone else can love them again. So, you can pass them on to your friends or family, give them away at swap events, or donate them.
There are plenty of ways to re-love a piece of clothing - restyle, rethought, repurpose, or recycle. You can also upcycle your old clothes/fabrics into brand new outfits. For example, you can upcycle old sarees or dupattas into dresses, crop tops, pantsuits, and many more!
Tips to reduce your carbon footprint by adopting fashion sustainability
- The first step to becoming a conscious shopper is to find your personal style. This way, you’ll stop shopping unnecessarily and giving in to trends that don’t actually fit your style.
- Swapping and thrifting are the easiest ways to ease yourself into fashion sustainability. You can start attending offline or online swap events. You can start exploring online thrift stores (check out the end of this article for recommendations.)
- Embracing slow fashion is not necessarily about shopping from expensive sustainable brands, especially when you’re starting out. Slow fashion can be as simple as taking measures to extend your existing clothes’ lives or giving them away responsibly.
- To begin with, you can start experimenting with the sale section of sustainable brands. When you’re in the mood for a shopping spree, invest in a few good-quality fabrics that will last you longer instead of buying lots of low-quality pieces. Here’s a fun challenge for you to take up - shop less but shop better!
- And lastly, follow brands and influencers who create educational and engaging content about sustainability and slow fashion. When you educate yourself, you’ll automatically find yourself making more responsible choices.
How to make your clothes last longer?
Maintaining your clothes is also a major part of embracing the slow fashion lifestyle. So here go some handy tips:
- Fast fashion clothes are made to last only three washes. So, try investing in good-quality, sustainable clothes that will last you longer. When you pay more for a piece, you’ll maintain it better.
- Ensure that you follow the instructions on the wash care labels to make the clothes last longer.
- You can extend the life of your clothes by washing them after wearing them twice or thrice. Make sure that you store your garments well and sundry them whenever possible to get rid of the musty smell.
How to dispose of your clothes responsibly?
- If you want to dispose of your clothes, first think if you can upcycle them into new clothes. You can check out Bink’s Instagram page or explore Pinterest for interesting upcycling ideas.
- If upcycling is not possible, then you can think about donating them responsibly. Donate it to your house help, an NGO, or any charity that contributes to a cause that you believe in.
- If the clothes are too worn out to be donated, then you can use them around the house for cleaning.
Some Indian online thrift stores and sustainable brands that you can follow
- The Second Life India
- Bare Necessities
- Earthen Puppy
- Neemli Naturals
- Conscious Chemist
Upcycle your clothes with Binks
Now you know that slow fashion can be made actionable and doesn’t necessarily have to be about spending on expensive clothes. You can take the first step now by upcycling your clothes.
- Look for old sarees, dupattas, or any other fabric lying around the house. You can also combine two fabrics to create a new outfit.
- Check out Pinterest boards, blogs, or videos for inspiration on upcycling.
- Send us your fabrics and hop on a virtual consultation call with our in-house designers. And, that is it! We can co-create a brand new outfit while being ethically conscious.