Part Three of our Slow Fashion series is going to focus on where to spend your money wisely, once you have decided that you need to purchase something (take a look at Parts One and Two of the series if you haven’t already). There’s a number of options available to you if you need to shop, but want to make sure you’re making wise purchasing choices, and trying to support the Slow Fashion movement. It’s likely that none of these options will be new to you, but it’s always good to be reminded.
Shop Vintage & Thrift. Vintage is defined as anything over 20 years old (so, pre-1998 at this point), and can be bought at your local thrift shop (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc), or from curated vintage shops in your city or online (such as our shop; shameless plug). Not everyone loves having to dig for vintage finds, but the joy of finding an amazing, one of a kind piece, is unparalleled. Fabulous pieces can certainly be found at curated shops, although you will definitely pay more than at a thrift shop, but no matter which type of shop you purchase thrift or vintage from, you can feel great knowing that you are supporting the reuse of items, keeping them out of the landfill, and keeping another few dollars out of the hands of the Fast Fashion retailers.
Shop Consignment. Similar to a curated vintage shop, your local consignment shop would be a more selective assortment of garments that are typically current within the last few seasons. Consignment shops are great for finding current, on trend items, at a significantly lower price than buying new. And again, you can feel good knowing that you are giving new life to existing items. There’s now also apps like Depop and Poshmark, which can provide an easy way to shop thrift, vintage and second hand, from the convenience of your smart phone.
Swap Clothing with Friends. This is a great way to feel like you are reviving your wardrobe, while keeping your consumption to a minimum. Plus, you get to hang out with friends, and maybe even have snacks and wine, so what’s not to like? Now, I do realize it’s possible that you don’t have many friends that are your same size, which could make this kind of swap tricky. But, there are often public clothing swaps that you could find in your city, which usually charge a few dollars for entry, but then there would be dozens of people there to participate in the swap, so it would definitely be worth it. And if you can’t find one where you’re located, why not start one yourself? A simple Facebook group or event, or a hashtag on Instagram may be all you need to get started.
Bonus Tip: Shop Your Own Closet. This may sound strange, but I’m sure I can’t be the only person out there who thought they needed a particular item, only to dig around in the depths of my closet to find I already had what I was looking for. I find it can be helpful to periodically take all of the items from the back of your closet, and move them to the front, so they can get back into your regular rotation. Rediscovering something you love and haven’t worn lately can feel just as good as getting something new. You can also take a look at whether anything in your closet could be altered in any way to make it more wearable, and feel fresh again. Maybe that skirt you never wear could be a couple of inches shorter, or the buttons on a cardigan could be changed. Speaking from experience, an old pair of wide leg trousers can be easily hemmed to become a more current, cropped wide leg pant.
Now if you’re unable to find the items you need/want with the above options, next week’s post will be a listing of some Slow Fashion & Ethical brands that you can take a look at as well. The most powerful tool we have as consumers is our dollar, so the more we spend at ethical retailers, the more options we will get as consumers. If we show the industry that this is something we want, they will definitely listen.