Today we are discussing slow fashion and offering some pointers on how to begin the slow journey for yourself, right now. Starting with the 30 wears challenge. The good news is we are on the journey with you every step of the way and so are many others. So you are definitely not alone in this process. Yay.
We know how hard it is to make a conscious effort to slow down our buying habits. We are surrounded by advertisements on a daily basis specifically designed to make us want more, even if we don’t need it. The slow fashion movement is about resisting these overly tempting traps, ending our fast fashion habits and making the most out of our clothes. Most importantly choosing our clothes for love over lust and quality over quantity. Within this article, we are featuring some of our most loved clothes, worn way more than 30 times.
I just want to clarify this is not about quitting shopping altogether, the opposite, it is about valuing each piece we buy as much as possible and wearing it with pride. We think this is a much healthier way of shopping, not just for your own sanity and bank balance, but for our lovely planet.
Personally, outfit repeating has always given me much enjoyment, maybe I am weird but it is true. From a young age I remember, after finding an outfit I loved, my Mum always having to force me out of them (to her despair). It has taken me a while to realise I still have a similar mindset, the idea of fast fashion has never overly appealed to that part of me, and it feels good to finally accept it.
A really easy way to start embracing slow fashion is through the 30 wears challenge. This is such an easily adaptable concept and will help us all become more conscious consumers. Started by Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle, two experts in the field of ethical and sustainable fashion. The sole purpose is to ask ourselves the question before we make it to the checkout…would I wear this 30 times? If the answer is no, then put it down, don’t buy it.
The 30 wears challenge asks us to look at clothes a little more objectively. Getting us all out of the habit of seeing clothes as a disposable commodity, and helping us to gain the full potential from our purchases. This will also help ensure that our hard earned money is well spent on clothes that will enrich our lives. Livia Firth wants us to “re-engage with the clothes we wear, thinking of them as investments rather than disposable easy come, easy go pieces.”
The bottom line is we need to look at this as a positive, we are trying to help you see that there is joy in owning less. It is not about punishing ourselves or being overly frugal, it is about appreciation for our things by buying more efficiently.
The long-term effect of following this mantra is really worthwhile as it will help reduce the amount of clothing ending up in landfill every year, by extending the lifespan of the clothes we have. It has been said that 300,000 tons of clothing waste ends up in landfill every year (WRAP report’ 17). I will let that sink in.
Choosing better quality clothes, looking after them, wearing them 30 times or more, and extending the average lifespan of our clothes, by just three months of active use per item, would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of our carbon, water and waste footprints. Garments that last longer reduce production and processing impacts, but only if new purchases are avoided. (WRAP report’ 17)
Now, this sounds really boring to mention but also more energy efficient washing and drying of clothes has been proven to reduce the carbon footprint of our clothes too, such as doing bigger loads, line drying and reducing the temperature of the wash cycle. It can also help your clothes last longer if you avoid over washing. These simple changes reduce our collective yearly carbon footprint in total by 700,000 tonnes CO2e (3%).
We think this is great news! As this proves that we as consumers have the power to effect change in our day to day lives. So if you are feeling frustrated, like you can not make a difference, we are here to tell you that is not true. Individuals can effect change by making small conscious changes. Displacing the knee-jerk reaction to buy new is the strongest most impactful thing we can do right now as individuals when it comes to fashion.
There is no shame in wearing the same outfit multiple times, quite the opposite. Since being on the slow journey I have found myself seeing my wardrobe differently. I haven’t found dressing for work in the morning as stressful, the dreaded feeling of looking into your wardrobe and screaming, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR.”
This feeling has stopped, (and it has not gone unnoticed by Josh), instead now I think more logically and understand what I am missing. Which will make the next shopping trip much more focused. I have also had a lot more fun mixing new outfits together that I normally would have never considered, which has made me feel better than ever.
My advice would be, if you can imagine yourself wearing it 30 times you should consider buying it. If you can imagine yourself wearing it more than 30 times, maybe even for years, don’t even think about it. BUY IT. Your life will become easier in the process and your bank balance will thank you in the long run! You might even feel like you are making a statement, and isn’t that what fashion is supposed to be all about?
I think you are ready! Go on, you know you want to. Start the challenge today and see your clothes differently. We hope that you are looking forward to being part of the solution.
We hope you enjoyed this post and that perhaps it has led you to think about your wardrobe and how often you wear your clothes. Tell us what do you think about the 30 challenge in the comments below?
Love, Lottie xx
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