May 26, 2021News
In 2021, let’s make the commitment to wave goodbye to fast fashion. Over the last few years, we’ve all been making changes to our daily lives to help protect the planet and the world around us. One industry that is finally waking up to the role it’s playing with regards to climate change is the fashion industry. It’s an industry built on momentary trends and the need to consume more products at an ever-growing rate.
It’s not just the rate of our consumerism that is the issue, it’s how we make our clothing. Whether it’s the droughts caused by cotton harvesting or the chemicals dumped into water systems in developing countries, the danger of fast fashion is everywhere you look.
Slow fashion is all about saying ‘no’ to ever evolving rends, and instead focusing on expanding the lifespan of our clothing You can think of it as prioritising quality over quantity. Instead of buying a $20 shirt from H&M that you’ll wear once, you can invest in a sustainably made $100 blouse from an eco-friendly brand that you can wear for years to come. Slow fashion is a smart investment, both for your bank balance and the planet.
With the evolution of ‘slow fashion’, your clothes can still look current and up to date without you having to jump on every momentary trend. Instead of focusing on pieces that are here one minute and gone the next, slow fashion focuses on staple pieces that define the era, rather than the moment. It takes the approach that clothing is an investment, rather than a folly that you can wear one day and throw away the next.
It’s taken longer than it should have, but the industry is finally turning its attention to the reality of climate change and the need for slow fashion. Embracing slow fashion doesn’t mean you have to turn your back on the industry. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your love of fashion. You can think of it as a reset.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we don’t need to live in a world dominated by trends that disappear in the blink of an eye. It served as an opportunity to refocus our minds and take stock of the situation within the industry. Without the constant runway shows and limited-edition releases, social media turned its attention to raising awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion.
As the world starts to return to normal, it is slowly resetting itself with a renewed focus on becoming more sustainable. The financial realities of the pandemic meant that designers went from creating four collections (or more) a year, to two. Smaller, independent designers had to turn to batch productions as a way to save their finances and continue to pay their staff as department stores placed smaller orders for stock.
This batch production radically reduced the waste produced by designers. If a department store ordered 60 dresses, exactly 60 were made. While this may have led to a small delay in you receiving your item, it is minimal compared to the benefits of this slower method of production.
One thing to note is that slow fashion still brings with it trends. Unlike fast fashion, these trends last for more than one season. These trends are designed to help you get the most out of the garment. Instead of wearing it a handful of times, you’re meant to wear it for at least a few years.
Slow fashion is about looking at the bigger picture, looking beyond just one or two seasons ahead of yourself. It’s defined by elevated basics that are still contemporary, but that you can wear for years without becoming dated.
If you want to create a slow fashion capsule closet, all you need is six pieces to see you through every season. These elevated basics are versatile pieces that you can mix and match with existing pieces in your closet or wear together.
You want a blouse that is more elevated than a simple button-up. Instead of a blouse you would wear to work, you want one that you might wear for brunch with your girlfriends at the weekend. It’ll look different for everyone depending on your aesthetic. If you prefer a simpler feminine look, you might want a prairie collar with a puff-sleeve and three-quart length cut. If you’re someone who prefers a vintage-inspired look, you can choose a blouse with a silk finish and a jewel colour scheme. Emerald or ruby red are always glamorous choices.
An elevated blouse can be worn with anything from leather trousers at the weekend to jeans for a casual look or a pencil skirt to wear to the office. It’s worth having the blouse tailored to give you a more fitted silhouette.
Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw, you probably don’t need a closet full of shoes. While everyone loves a stiletto, it’s the flat show that is the most practical choice. For years, flat shoes have been outcast as being less fashionable, with trends focusing mainly on higher heels and platforms. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that flat shoes are the most practical thing you can add to your closet.
Over the last year, we’ve all abandoned our high heels for sneakers, Birkenstocks, loafers, and ballet flats. Whatever your aesthetic is, there will be a flat shoe that works for your look. Choose a pair that you know you could dress either up or down, depending on the occasion.
When it comes to narrowing down your search, you want to choose a durable material like leather and a neutral colour palette, like earth-tones or a classic black shade. These shoes don’t have to come with a designer price tag, but you want to make sure they’re ones that can be easily repaired over time to give you a longer lifespan.
Cardigans are one fashion staple that is experiencing a resurgence. While you might think of them as something your grandmother might wear, celebrities like Harry Styles and Taylor Swift have brought them back into vogue once more. Thanks to aesthetics like cottagecore and the rise of vintage fashion, cardigans are once again a wardrobe staple – now with a younger demographic.
These cardigans look more like something you’d have expected Coco Chanel to wear, and less like the cardigans that make up a school uniform. If you’re adding one to your slow fashion closet, you want to focus on details that elevate your garment. Keep an eye out for elegant detailing on the button (like the interlocking CC on a Chanel button), embellishments, and functional pockets.
Don’t be afraid to pick up a smart cardigan in a pastel or a bold colour, as this can help add something different to your closet and soften your outfits.
Do you know what all the recent dress trends have had in common? They’ve been designed to see you through day to night with ease. Do you remember the midi dress trend that was everywhere before the pandemic hit? Or the shirt dress that everyon4e loved? These are classic examples of the 18-hour dress. It’s a silhouette that can take you from a day at the office to drinks with your friends, all with a quick change of your accessories.
Again, this is another slow fashion staple that will look different for each person. You want to consider your lifestyle and what works for you. Is it a dress you could see yourself wearing to grab coffee in? Could you wear it to a dinner out with your significant other? While this isn’t a dress that you’ll wear every day, you want to be able to identify situations where you know you could wear it. You also want to choose a length and material that you’ll be comfortable wearing for up to 18-hours in one go.
If there’s one handbag colour that will never go out of style, it’s the toffee-tan colour. This colour works for any occasion and is a softer alternative to a classic black handbag. It’s minimalistic and contemporary, while still giving you a glamorous look that has a vintage feel.
When you’re shopping around for your slow-fashion handbag, take the time to look for brands that use sustainable materials. Everything from plastic bottles to waste leather is being used to make handbags. If you’re a fan of vegan fashion, you can even choose cork as the material for your bag.
These are another post-pandemic addition. If there’s one piece of clothing that we’re all living in, it’s our sweatpants and loungewear. These pieces were already making a name for themselves thanks to the athleisure trend, but they’ve become an essential during the pandemic. A pair of minimalistic sweatpants can be styled with anything from an oversized sweater to a blazer and aviator sunglasses.
For your slow fashion closet, you want a style that is tailored but still comfortable, with a streamlined look and a fabric that can withstand a few years of wear.
What do you think of slow fashion? Are there any pieces on this list that you’ll be adding to your closet? Let us know in the comments below!
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