Slow Fashion: How to be sustainable and stylish

Slow Fashion: How to be sustainable and stylish

Slow Fashion: How to be sustainable and stylish

Are you passionate about clothes but also the environment? It often seems that you can only be on one team. Hopefully, this article will help make both seem more possible. As a lover of clothes but also somebody who wants to protect the planet I have spent a long time pondering this dilemma. I think the key lies in being knowledgeable, having a clear vision and having some tools, routines and practices to help us.

How the fashion industry pulls the wool over our eyes.

Let's start first with knowledge, as the founder of a small slow fashion clothing company I have a duty and a passion to understand what happens in the garment industry. Fashion retailers and manufacturers often tell us certain things to make us believe they are doing things that are sustainable, we then believe them and do things which we think are sustainable but in actual fact aren't. As explored in the Channel 4 programme "Luxury Fashion For Less" ( you can watch it on demand) there are retailers who sell their items at Retail Outlets leading us, the consumers, to believe these are "end of line" or "last season's clothes. We understandably believe we are shopping sustainably because we are stopping these leftover items going to landfill. In actual fact, lots of these items were created for the sole purpose of selling at Retail Outlets and were never in the main stores. Are you as shocked as me? We need to demand more transparency in this and other retail practices. If you are interested in finding out more I would really recommend looking at the website of The Fashion Revolution.



Ways we can make a difference

I think there are three main stages where we can be more sustainable: before we buy something, while we're wearing things and when the clothes come to the end of their life.

Step away from the cash till...

Stores, virtual and bricks & mortar ones, are so good at enticing us to buy things arent they? There is often an emotional connection to buying clothes. I guess that's why it's called Retail Therapy.

It is so easy to go clothes shopping isn't it? There's that dopamine hit of purchasing something that you think will make you look /feel better. Do you find yourself rationalising your purchase by telling yourself it doesn't a) cost much or b) it is an investment. Added to this we are surrounded by celebrities and influencers wearing seemingly new items the entire time. If this is you here are some questions to ask yourself next time you go shopping. If you're not happy with some of the answers walk away.

Let's call it the Slow Fashion Control Test

(not the world's snappiest title I know 😂)

1) Does it fit well?

2) Do you have at least 5 things in your wardrobe it will go with?

3) Will it wash well?

4) Will you be able to wear it all year round?

5) Is it a forever style or more of a one season wonder?

6) Does it make you feel magical when you put it on?

7) Is it ethically made?

8) Is it sustainably made?

9) Is it good quality and will it wear well?

10) Does it make you feel magical?

🦢 Single Swan Tip: If you rub two pieces of the material together does the material pill? (small, firm balls of lint that form on the surface of fabrics) If yes then the item won't wear well. Thank you to my fab friend Andrea for this tip.

How to love your wardrobe friends

Joan Crawford famously said "Care for your clothes like the good friends they are". She was clearly a wise woman (as an aside can we discuss sometime the style genius that was Joan Crawford?)

By doing some simple things we can prolong the life of our clothes. Wash your clothes only when necessary, we often get into the habit of putting things into the washing basket straight after wearing (often easier than putting away right?😂 Every time we wash things we take a bit of their longevity away.

🦢Single Swan tip: Place your jeans in a plastic bag removing all the air. Seal as tight as you can. Place the bag in the freezer for 24 hours. This will kill all the bacteria.

Two essential items to help preserve our clothes



                         Lint Roller                                      JML Bobble Off Lint Remover

                     John Lewis £4                                     Robert Dyas £5.99


Next time I'll be writing about a few more tips to prolong our wardrobe friends. It will involve a needle and thread. Trust me, if I can manage the tips I will be suggesting you can too. Thanks so much for reading this. Please let me know what you found interesting.

Take care
Alicia x


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