As we head on through to the summer, the season of #slowfashion is about to begin. Unlike last year, many stores remain closed due to the lockdown situation here in the UK. However, this hasn’t stopped us from flocking to the internet to buy our new garms.
In March 2020, store bought clothing sales in the UK saw a 34.3% decline year on year, whereas textiles, clothing and footwear sold via online sales increased by over 26%.
These statistics show just a small window into the retail sector. We’ve not physically been able to shop for clothes on the high street but by the looks of it, a majority have moved to online fashion buying. The question I propose in this current climate is..why? Is it necessity? Is it impulse? Or just pure boredom?
Now, I’m no expert in psychology but I can see how we might have felt the need over the past few weeks to spend online. Being in lockdown is not easy, especially if you cannot go to work. 24/7 in the same place? Almost certainly you’llbe scrolling your Insta or Facebook and come across those tempting ads offering 50% off here and there. It’s kind of hard not to just have a look. The problem is, you might start justifying the unnessary basket full of clothing by thinking you’re saving money on petrol/travel costs, saving money on going out and socializing. Before you know it, you’ve dropped £200 on some seriously extra seasonal outfits that you didn’t need yesterday. Am I right? I must be close because I’ve been there. Eight weeks into lockdown and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to press that ‘purchase’ button. Luckily for me, I found some extra will power somewhere and the only things I’ve justified buying are maternity clothes and a few baby items (obviously, required).
When you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, the reality is, we are in lockdown. We’re not going out for dinners, going on dates in fancy bars or going to the biggest summer festivals. We’re at home, on the sofa, in the garden. So do you really need new clothes? The reality is, probably not. And this is a great way to stop and take inventory of your wardrobe. Most of us have wardrobes full of clothes that we are saving ‘because’. For whatever reason it is, is it really likely that you’ll wear it again? Did you buy something when it was ‘in’ and it’s been most definately ‘out’ for a while now?
Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion
Fast fashion is the wasteful nature of the fashion industry. As time has passed and technology has become more efficient, the fashion industry has been able to mass produce output on a higher scale than ever. Often sourced with cheap, unreliable materials, churning out clothing items for trends that rarely last longer than a couple of months at best. We’re talking about most high street brands. If there’s a fad, they’re on it. The fad dies, the fashion item dies with it, it’s not cool any more. So, it ends up in landfill. According to Wrap, an estimated 350,000 tonnes of our clothing ends up in landfills in the UK each year. That is staggering.
Slow fashion is all about making do with the items you already own. Not buying new, repurposing old threads into something new and exciting. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy clothes. There are plenty of other ways to jazz up your style without hitting the stores. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about buying second hand from charity shops, online sites such as eBay, Depop, Facebook Marketplace etc. Keeping those items from landfill. The fashion industry is fickle, the fads don’t last but key pieces in your wardrobe are often timeless. Things like a good pair of jeans, a denim jacket, a good quality plain white tee.
Slow Fashion Season aims to promote not buying new for 3 months. This year, running from 21st June 2020 until 21st September 2020. You can take a pledge and read more about the cause here with Collaction!
– Refrain from buying fast fashion items
– Do a clothes swap if you need a different outfit
– Look at second hand options
– If you are looking to get a new piece, try to support ethical, well made and local small labels
BLOG || Beccy Frost – “I am a Fashion Design and Marketing studentI am trying to think more about how I can shop ethically and become a more conscious consumer, changing my approach to shopping and fast fashion whilst still enjoying the clothes that I wear.”
BLOG || This Dreams Alive – “A huge amount of clothing bought is worn once or twice and then binned, or sat in the back of a wardrobe forever. The demand to buy something and wear it once, or to constantly stay on trend, or to find a cheap replica of something one of the Kardashians wore, means that cheap online retailers are constantly releasing low-quality new designs and destroying the environment for the sake of #OOTD’s on Instagram.”
BLOG || KOHR – “The fashion industry accounts for 10% of all global carbon emissions – which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping! The average British or European person now buys 60% more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as they did 15 years ago. In the UK alone, 2 million tonnes of clothing are thrown away each year and only 16% of that waste is reused.”
YOUTUBE || Jamie Schofield – @Jamiescho – This video is unboxing Grade D items bought to be saved from landfill. I particularly liked this viedo because it showcases what you could get and the amount of material that could be upcycled or reworked into something new and amazing!