Ethical fashion: How I’m transitioning my wardrobe

Yikes that title is a mouthful. But honestly, I had no idea what to even call this post. I think this is my first official “ethical fashion” post and it’s both exciting and nerve wracking.

Subconsciously, I think we all know about the fast fashion industry. Regardless of how much we know about it, we know it’s there. It’s an idea that I’ve managed to push aside for far too long but I can no longer ignore it. And you shouldn’t either.

By writing this post, I am excited because I’m declaring that I won’t sit in silence about the heart breaking world that is the fast fashion industry. But it’s also scary because me being a person of public interest, my slip ups will be notable. And they will happen.

But before we begin I just want to say I really don’t want this post to come off all “high and mighty” or “this is the only way” or judge-y or anything. This is more so about my journey, and if you’re interested, how you can do it too.

So let’s start at the beginning with a brief “what is fast/slow fashion?”

slow fashion

Let’s start with some definitions, shall we?

Slow fashion –

“Slow fashion is the deliberate choice to buy better-quality items less often. When purchases are made, they’re environmentally and ethically conscious rather than trend driven.” – digiday.com

Fast Fashion –

So naturally fast fashion is the opposite. Fast fashion is an industry that is constantly making new trends, paying their employees very little, (and treating them poorly, too) and not caring about the MASSIVE carbon footprint they are leaving behind.

Because the fashion industry moves so quickly, companies can push out new articles of clothing seemingly overnight at incredibly low prices. This causes people to justify the amount they buy only to toss it in a few months when it falls apart or a new trend comes along.

[bctt tweet=”Fast fashion is a vicious cycle. ” username=”caityrosek”]

In comes: Slow fashion.

Trends out, quality pieces in.

The idea of slow fashion is beautiful. Buy less clothes and only buy quality pieces from companies you know aren’t exploiting resources or it’s employees.

What about…

Sustainable fashion –

Clothing that is manufactured in the most sustainable ways possible. This takes into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. – greenstrategy.se

It is simply clothes made better to last a much longer time. Clothing that is not meant to be disposable and is made with Eco-friendly materials and produced with less energy and less water as to preserve the environment.

Fair Trade –

Trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. – dictionary.com

This basically ensure that the people who made your clothes are being paid fairly and treated justly.

It is important to take all of these factors into play when purchasing clothes, if you truly want to make a difference. The environmental impact as well as the human impact

So where do we even start?!

slow fashion

Well, before you run to your closet and start throwing things out, don’t. That will only add to the problem. Here are some things you can do instead and what I’m doing to begin the transition.

  • Stop going to the mall. The mall is one of fast fashions biggest thriving places. That and online. If you’re a bit of a shopping addict like me, it’s best to just stay clear of malls in general until you build up a stronger will.
  • Love the clothes you already own. To develop a mindset that clothing isn’t disposable we need to take better care of our clothes. Instead of buying a new piece every couple of months try to make the pieces you already own last a lot longer. There are countless ways to style a singe article of clothing. And when they do start to go, find creative ways to re-purpose them and give them new life.
  • Start thrifting. Although majority of the pieces you’ll find in thrift stores will be made by fast fashion companies, by purchasing you are not directly supporting the company. And better yet, you are, in a way recycling. Giving old clothes a new home and a second chance. And therefore keeping them out of landfills.
  • Sell your clothes/donate. Instead of throwing out clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear anymore, consider selling them. There are many apps like depop and poshmark that you can sell directly in. That way you know where your clothes are going (not a landfill) and you can make an extra buck or two! If you would like to donate you clothing I would suggest trying to donate them to a shelter or something similar before bringing them to your local thrift store. There’s a bigger chance of your items being put to good use that way.
  • And finally, start buying ethical and sustainable clothing. I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. It is more expensive. That was one of my biggest delays in going into slow fashion. Because for a while, I really tried to brand myself as a budget-friendly fashion blogger. But I can’t do that anymore. But it is worth it. These clothes are made from the highest quality materials and produced in an environmentally friendly way. Not only that but you’re money is going to someone who worked hard to make it. They’re being paid fairly. These clothes are also made to last a long time so you can actually save money by purchasing less.

I hope this gave you the push you need to start making a change! Don’t forget to pin this post of you liked it!

 

6 Comments

  1. Cassandra
    June 2, 2019 / 8:56 am

    I applaud your position on slow fashion. I have a shamefully large wardrobe of clothes and i am trying to break my addictive habits.
    One problem i find is knowing which stores and brands are good performers, especially for undies, socks, tees etc.
    Do you have any thoughts about this?

    • Caity Rose
      Author
      June 2, 2019 / 11:33 am

      Hey! Thank you! My wardrobe is still a little bigger than I’d like it to be after years of shopping fast fashion. However, the most sustainable wardrobe you could own is the one you already have. So any effort is a great step! As for stores that sell undies, socks and tees, I have an entire post all about where to find ethical basics! It’s an in depth post breaking down what textiles are best as well as price point and ethical standards. Check it out here and let me know if that answers your question! 🙂

  2. Alicen
    June 2, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    I am not a fashion lady and for close to 10 years had a job that required a uniform or when I owned a business, a self imposed uniform of jeans and T-shirt’s for working in.
    Moving in to a new more professional role, I had many clothes that I didn’t get an opportunity to wear previously. My first 90 days, I wore a different outfit every day. I was proud of myself for coming up with so many different things.
    I don’t shop often and tend to mend clothing once or twice a year to continue to wear. Thankfully, I have three sisters that pass on their hand me downs.
    The basics post will be my next to read. It’s time to upgrade my underwear.

    • Caity Rose
      Author
      June 3, 2019 / 1:15 pm

      That’s amazing! I love to mend my clothes as many times as possible before I dispose of them. And hand me downs are honestly the best!Yes, read it! I hope it helps! 🙂

  3. September 11, 2019 / 8:17 am

    A great post that everyone should read. I used to shop far too frequently but still had nothing to wear!! the usual story. I now only buy clothes that i really want and need and nothing too on trend, pieces that i know will last. I have also taken to making my own clothes, that way i can make items that truely fit my shape and style, are more affordable and leave a smaller footprint. I think everyone should learn to sew, it seriously useful when clothes start to look a little worn.

    • Caity Rose
      Author
      September 11, 2019 / 2:08 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!I love being able to mend and adjust clothing! I think it plays a huge part in cherishing our clothes and making them last a long time. Definitely something everyone should know!

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