Do I need to change my fast fashion clothes to join a slow fashion movement ?
Myth - Joining in on the slow fashion movement means I need to get rid of all my fast fashion clothes and purchase new sustainable clothing.
Fact - Not at all. Not only are you not supposed to get rid of your clothes, you need to make sure all outfits in your wardrobe last a lot longer.
You might have just discovered slow fashion and how important it is however, this certainly does not require you to discard the sustainably unfriendly clothing you may have in your wardrobe. The very purpose of the slow fashion movement is to slow it down by making the most of what you have at hand. So, you may have enjoyed going crazy at certain discount shops which now you realise have been incorporating fast fashion techniques, yet, discarding wearable clothing will be doing the complete opposite of what slow fashion hopes to achieve. Since you have already purchased them you bear the responsibility of ensuring the long use of the particular outfit. That`s right, the maximum use you are able to get out of an outfit, regardless of what type of clothing it is, will help the environment. Maximising an outfit will not only prevent the need to purchase more clothing, you will also be sending a message to all in the fast fashion world as to how serious you are regarding sustainability as a consumer which will inevitably slow down the whole system which is exactly what the slow fashion movement is about.
How do I ensure the longevity of my clothing you may ask, the answer may be much simpler than you would think. Making a conscious effort to care for your clothing is all it takes. By switching your detergent for eco-friendly products will prevent the damages that may occur when using harsh chemicals. Furthermore, by separating your clothing according to the material when washing them can help you to use cleaning agents that a particular material will require. A tip that I was given and which I swear by, is to use baby shampoo when washing delicate, soft materials as it has proven to help maintain the texture of the fabric.
Another simple method to maintain your clothes is to repair them yourself. We need to cultivate the habit of choosing not to get rid of an item of clothing due to a simple tear. In our fast paced world we are so used to discarding rather than mending. This in fact ends up encouraging fast fashion more than anything else. Take the chance to experiment with lace and other fabric when mending as it will give your clothes new life.
So, if you are someone new to slow fashion and is interested in being eco-friendly and sustainable, all I would tell you is to slow it down, enjoy and embrace what you have in your wardrobe.
Talia Weerakkody for Absolute