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A Beginner's Guide To Slow Fashion

A Beginner's Guide To Slow Fashion

Posted on: Sunday 2 May 2021

Ditching fast fashion can be daunting, particularly if you're someone who buys clothes regularly and often buys into the latest trends, but it's becoming increasingly important to do so. If you're a fast fashion fiend and you're reading this post then well done! Reading about and showing an interest in slow fashion is an excellent first step.

So firstly,

what is slow fashion? 

I trawled Google for a good definition (and there are plenty to choose from), but my favourite was a 'movement (that) works towards creating an industry that benefits the planet and all people' taken from this article.

People often feel alienated from slow fashion because they think it's all super expensive organic cotton brands that only the privileged can afford. The reason I chose that quote is because I feel like it describes slow fashion as a whole concept; it doesn't have to mean having a fully sustainable wardrobe, it can mean re-wearing, mending, upcycling, clothes swapping, basically anything but buying from fast fashion brands. 

So you may be wondering,

why should you be bothered? 

Fast fashion is a problem for many reasons, but mainly because:

1) People are consuming too much.

2) Fast fashion brands do not pay their garment workers fair wages or provide them with safe places to work. They also often use child slave labour.

3) Overproduction of non-sustainable materials is extremely bad for the environment due to CO2 emissions, water pollution and the disposable nature of fast fashion meaning that tonnes of clothes end up in landfill every year.

That's obviously a very basic what and why of slow fashion and there is heaps more reading you can do on the topic, but seeing as this is supposed to be a beginner's guide I'll leave it there and move on to:

what can you do?

These are some super simple first steps to ditching fast fashion and beginning your slow fashion journey. If you've been used to shopping fast fashion frequently then you can't expect to do this overnight unless you have the willpower of a saint so focus on making one small change at a time to make it stick. And don't worry, there are still ways you can shop the latest trends, but in a more circular way.

SHOP YOUR WARDROBE // The most sustainable way to shop is to wear what you already own! Sort through your wardrobe; you'll probably find some gems you'd forgotten about, plus it'll help you figure out different ways to style old clothes. If you come across things you no longer want, make sure you read the point below!

NEVER THROW CLOTHES AWAY // Throwing clothes in the bin is a huge waste and does nothing to help the growing landfill problem in the UK (we are eventually going to run out of room). There are plenty of things you can do with clothes you no longer want; consider whether you would like the item if you upcycled it (which could be as simple as dying it a different colour), give clothes to your friends, sell them, donate them or if they're too tatty for any of that then make sure you recycle them. You could either recycle them yourself by turning them into cloths/rags or take them to a local clothing recycling bank (often found at supermarkets).

BUY LESS // Ask yourself; do you really need everything you're buying? If you're buying clothes that you're only wearing a few times before getting rid of them or buying something new then you're buying too much. When you do buy make sure it's something you'll get a lot of wear out of and will love for a long time. Also consider quality and the ethics of the brand you're buying from; where you spend your money and who you choose to support holds a lot of power. There's a lot more to be said, but even if to begin with you go from buying one new thing a week to one new thing every fortnight, it's a start. 

SHOP SECOND HAND // Because people consume so much, there is a lot to be found when it comes to second hand shopping. You don't even need to give up the trends you love because guaranteed there'll be people selling things they've forgotten to return/have decided they don't like within weeks of buying. As well as charity or vintage shops, there's eBay, Depop and Vinted to browse too. Depop is the one I use the most although I'm sure all are great depending on which interface you prefer! 

RESEARCH // Since I started my slow fashion journey I've done reading, watched documentaries, followed sustainable accounts on Instagram and it means that I'm constantly reminded why I'm doing it (a great reminder for your conscience especially at the beginning) and there's always more to learn so I'm only becoming more dedicated to it as it continues. 

Do you fancy ditching fast fashion? Or have you already?

Amy x


  1. These are good tips! Especially the ones about buying less and shopping second hand more! I used to shop a lot and I've really been trying to buy less, and shop second hand more. it's a little harder now as some of the local opshops I loved closed with the lockdown and never reopened afterwards - the buildings are sold and used for other things, or they aren't open as many days/hours as they used to so I can't get there. But it's good in a way as it's meant I've bought less as I have to go further to other opshops, haha!

    Hope that you had a good weekend :) It's a relaxing long weekend for us!

    Away From The Blue

    1. Thank you! That's great that you shop second hand so much, our charity shops have just reopened over here :) x

  2. I love these tips! I've tried to make sure we're good with Leos old clothes. Babies grow out of things so quickly. Luckily we know some people having babies so have given his old stuff to them. I've also got some bits to put on Facebook Market place!

    Corinne x

    1. Ah yeah that's good - at least there are always more babies to pass clothes onto! x

    2. This is a great post, and a really helpful reminder of what I'm trying to be better at. Shopping your own wardrobe is so underrated! Whenever I'm inspired by an outfit I see on IG, I'm so tempted to just splurge on something new, unaware that I could probably very easily recreate it from what I already have. Thanks for sharing <3

      // xx

    3. Ah I'm glad it's been helpful - shopping your own wardrobe is definitely underrated!

  3. Love your suggestion of shopping second hand, Amy! I've found some of my favourite designer accessories this way through places like vestiare! Have a lovely weekend :) x

    1. Thanks Gabrielle, there are definitely some fab designer second hand finds out there! x

  4. Thank you for sharing this informative post. I'm definitely slow fashion girl because for one year I didn't shop new piece.


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