CURBING THE TEMPTATION TO SHOP ‘FAST’
It’s Fashion Revolution Week. On the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the dialogue around who made our clothes is still going strong. And I’m so glad it is.
I know that not everyone has the economic means to shop 100% ethically – that’s a reality. I find it incredibly difficult to stay ethical with a single-income. Buying a real ethical piece is a once-a-year deal. So I’d better be darn sure.
It’s been 6 months since I made the choice to go full ‘slow fashion,’ and I’m sure everyone can appreciate how difficult it is to NOT shop as often. It’s like recovering from an addiction, really. So below are some tips that I’ve found really help me stay on the bandwagon.
1. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND.
It seems obvious. And I thought it would be harder than it is. But the biggest factor in me keeping my cool and buying better has been completely avoiding mass retailers and malls. When you’re not around temptation, ya don’t get tempted!
2. YOU ARE WHO YOU FOLLOW.
This has been a game-changer for me. On Instagram, in email, everything – I weeded out the unethical brands, unsubscribed, and transformed the information I was consuming. I made it clear to instagram that the ads I preferred were better brands. Being able to edit and control the people who market to you, and where you’re getting your inspiration, can make a huge difference. You’ll find that you’re bookmarking lovely products from amazing brands. You’re slowly changing your habits.
Some of my absolute favourite bloggers/sources are @thegarmentlife @leevosburgh @andrea_hartman_ and @thegoodwearblog and thegoodtrade.com
Some fave brands to follow because of great content (and products): @kotn @elizsuzann @sotelaco @matterprints @free.label @azurabay@pyneandsmithclothiers and @weareladyfarmer
3. STORE ETHICAL PIECES IN THEIR OWN SPACE.
This one’s weird, but having my ethical or thrifted clothes separated from the rest of my wardrobe felt good. It made me feel proud, it allowed me to see the progress over the months. It gave me an appreciation for just how many times I reached for those pieces instead of everything else. It’s a slow, intentional build but it’s helped me continue to define my style outside of fast fashion.
4. DO A 10×10 CHALLENGE.
You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again. @leevosburgh’s #10x10challenge is the best way to get used to buying less, living with less, and making the clothes you have work harder. By doing a few of these consecutively, I’ve been able to train myself to style pieces creatively instead of being tempted to buy.
5. LABEL THINGS “THRIFT, BORROW, MAKE, OR BUY”
Once you’ve been doing the ethical thing for a while, some things will develop holes, be unrepairable, or you’ll find you’re missing a staple item. Before browsing or buying anything, make a list and identify the most practical place you’ll find what you’re looking for. It’s the first step to staying focused, and it helps me have a lot more fun finding that perfect item!
6. HAVE A LONG-TERM WISHLIST
As you get to know where the holes in your wardrobe, and have them labelled – keep a long-term wishlist you can save up for. I have a private Pinterest board that has links to the exact items I want to purchase. No fluffy inspo here – just the exact items. If I go back weeks from when I pinned something and I still love it, then I know it’s the right thing.
7. ENGAGE IN A LIKE-MINDED COMMUNITY
You know the drill. Support is everything. Finding people who share the same beliefs has given me such a feeling of positivity. I thought I’d enter a world of people chastising everyone for their fast fashion choices, but instead on Instagram I found vibrant, amazing, accepting humans.
To anyone who’s just made their own commitment: welcome, good luck, and know that none of us are perfect! We try to move forward with kindness.
To everyone who’s already in the midst of it: thank you for being a part of such a lovely community <3