Slow Fashion and reassessing shopping habits
Second-Hand September went according to plan. Oxfam has reported that 62, 000 people signed up for the online pledge and 37, 000 shared posts on social media. For me, the month flew by without any spending on new items of clothing, shoes or accessories. Bingo. I knew I could do it. Not being smug, not buying clothes for 30 days is hardly difficult. One of the personal and planet-friendly positives has been the space this initiative has provided me to consider what’s hanging in the wardrobe. To think about what works and what stays hanging in the wardrobe. Over the month, I’ve taken a small bag of clothes to the charity shop (this included a petrol blue Jaeger cropped fitted jacket that I haven’t worn since I was a magazine fashion editor, a black cotton shirt with fiddly buttons that was high on Faff Factor and a pair of Converse All Stars – can’t wear them, too flat, they make my feet hurt). And, very kindly gifted my friend’s twin daughters a pair of old-but-barely-worn jeans each for their 15th birthday. I think they appreciated my commitment….Happy Second-Hand September.
Having successfully fulfilled my pledge, I am going to continue not buying anything new. For how long, I don’t know. I have lots of clothes and I don’t feel the pressing need to buy more. Numerous people on social media are supporting the Extinction Rebellion #boycottfashion campaign – participants are urged to repair, recycle and re-use for a year. While I am sure this is incredibly freeing, I’m not going to make this commitment. As part of my job, styling outfits and finding winning combinations does occasionally mean buying new things; I love how a carefully selected addition can unlock on old favourite. Instead, I will continue to champion Slow Fashion by making the most of old clothes, buying sensibly, supporting small business and shopping for vintage.
One of my friends, clearly bored with my blathering on about sustainability, asked me not to get too worthy about fashion. Highlighting the pleasure that treating yourself to a new item of clothing, every now and then, can bring. I do enjoy clothes. And fashion can be empowering. We all want to feel good, to feel confident about how we look, to wear nice clothes. Not everything about fashion is bad. Though certain industry practises need to be addressed if we are going to reduce environmental damage and have a more circular system (as discussed at Fashion Revolution Week). Another friend has worked in retail all her life and we discussed how precarious the climate is right now. The UK fashion industry is a huge employer, (approx 890, 000 jobs) and we all want to support good business and continued employment.
It’s complicated. It’s about considerate consumption, and it’s a work in progress.
More details about the outfit in this photo HERE.