Slow Fashion

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I’m a bit late in the game to start talking about slow fashion, but Karen Templar has been inspiring me with everything that she’s been posting this month.

Slow Fashion is a movement towards knowing where your clothes come from, how they are made, mending them when they rip or get old, and only having what you need. And maybe a little bit (or a lot) about actually loving everything in your wardrobe. ❤

This video showing a glimpse into the life of workers who turn discarded Western clothing back into thread/yarn caught my attention. While I do love that a group of people figured out how to recycle these clothes, the amount of waste is astounding.

If that video disturbed you in one way or another, maybe a little slow fashion is in your future. Zady has some ideas for reducing your clothing consumption to get you started:

The next time you’re about to buy something, ask yourself this: Where will this piece of clothing go after I no longer want it? At first, it may seem strange to think about the end point of your relationship with an item before you’ve even committed to buying it. But we have discovered that asking this simple question has totally changed the way we shop. Why? Because it turns out that what you can do with a piece of clothing when you no longer want it is a very good measure of whether it’s worth buying in the first place. – From Good Ridding

I am a definitely a serial donator and I’d love to say it’s solely because I am giving items consciously, hoping others will benefit from them. But if I’m honest with myself, I buy too many things and get bored with them just as quickly. And could I be bothered to fix a button? …Probably not.

My mouth also drops down to the floor when I see shoes that cost more than $60, or a shirt, pants, dress… whatever. But seriously, if an article of clothing is made well and with love, it probably didn’t cost only $60 for someone to make a living. The materials should come from somewhere that is conscious about their effect on the environment and they should pay their workers fair wages — and the same should go all the way up the chain to the final thread.

If you pay more for your clothes, you’ll think a lot harder about what you’re bringing home and how it fits into your wardrobe.

Researchers have found that the insula—the part of the brain that registers pain—plays a role in purchase decisions. Our brain weighs the pleasure of acquiring against the pain of paying. As clothing prices decline, that pain does too, making shopping easy entertainment, disconnecting it from our actual clothing needs.  – From The Case for Expensive Clothes

For Slow Fashion October (and beyond), I pledge to be more conscious of what I bring into my home and mend the clothes that need mending. I hope you’ll join me and all of the others taking part in Slow Fashion October.

Oh yeah, and even if you have an aversion to mending your clothes like I do, look how cute mended clothes can be!

Making your own change

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Nothing is going to change unless each individual person chooses to change and I’m an individual person so I have to choose to change.

After realizing that she, as an individual, could do something about global warming and the overuse of resources on earth, Jen of Make Do and Mend challenged herself and her family to a year of acquiring nothing new with lots of re-using, mending, and ‘making do’.

This quote resonated with me because I recently had a similar epiphany to Jen’s. Until earlier this year, I felt helpless about issues like factory farming and animal rights. Each time that I guiltily ate a hamburger, I would tell myself that not spending $5-20 per week on meat would go unnoticed by a factory farm business, and plus, I donate to the ASPCA, Audubon Society, Humane Society, and the World Wildlife Federation (isn’t that enough??). But for some reason, this year, I realized that I didn’t need to feel guilty, I could just do something about it. I stopped eating meat and started educating myself and my family on what meat and animal products are humanely farmed, how to tell and where to buy them. I feel better about my decisions and although I realize that changing my own habits isn’t going to change the world, I know it’s a start. As Ghandi supposedly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I would highly recommend a listen to Kate’s interview with Jen on A Playful Day podcast. It’s inspiring to hear the journey of a self-professed not-so-crafty person making do with what they’ve got to make a change in their lives.

Listen to the interview on A Playful Day podcast.