30 December 2019
I can’t say that I have a lot of clothes, but I don’t think I have too little either. It is all relative, don’t you think? A capsule wardrobe usually has between 25 and 50 pieces, which includes clothing, shoes and accessories. Most capsule wardrobes have 30 items or less. But what about minimalists? I feel that they are a bit extreme at 10 items.
My one son is a minimalist and for summer he has three pairs of shorts, five T-shirts, one pair of shoes and a jacket. Underwear, sleepwear and socks are not in his capsule. If he has to go somewhere formal, we are in trouble. To put it into perspective, he is 19 and not working yet. So he can still get away with shorts and T-shirts.
Getting back to my closet. Most of my clothes are pre-loved and gifted. Which is great, because it saved me a lot of money when I needed to be very frugal and I inadvertently became part of the slow fashion movement. At that time I didn’t know about slow fashion, capsule wardrobes or ethical shopping.
I was just so grateful to have good quality clothing to wear that I accepted everything. And sometimes, because you have so little, anything is better than what’s hanging in your closet at that moment. So when Belinda asked me to join her at My Style Journey, I was clueless about fashion and style. Now, thinking back to that moment, I’m aware that Belinda took a huge risk. She just believed that I would do better. I did become better, but so did she.
Along our fashion journey this year, we became aware of how fast fashion affects the environment and how unethical the manufacturing process can be. We educated ourselves on ways to minimise our own impact on precious mother earth.
Fast fashion is a term used to describe a widely implemented phenomenon and business model. It describes companies that imitate styles and trends seen on the runways at fashion week and recreate them at a much lower price and quality to sell to the mass market. And with access to a seemingly infinite amount of online shops, it is easy to shop cheap, fast fashion.
Slow fashion is the antithesis of fast fashion. It is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.
The slow fashion movement pushes against the current norms that everything can be easily discarded and replaced. It is a conscious, mindful lifestyle choice that is opposed to instant gratification. The focus is on quality and not quantity.
Practically speaking this means buying less and second hand, searching for ethical brands and better quality clothing. Once you own something, take care of it. Don’t think of clothing as easily disposable, but always consider repairing, donating or upcycling as good options to keep them out of landfills. We love buying pre-loved clothing so much that we have our very own second hand clothing store – Belle Whimsy Clothing https://www.instagram.com/belle_whimsyclothing/
Belinda has already changed her relationship with fashion. She is buying much less than before. She knows her style and has a list of things she still needs or wants. No more impulse buying. I am so proud of her. Read her blog post on slow fashion here: https://cutt.ly/msjslow
Belinda had to reign in her spending, but that is not what I struggle with. Spending too much money on clothes is clearly not a problem for me. To tell you the truth, getting me to buy clothes is like pulling teeth. I don’t shop and I don’t scroll through online stores. I most definitely do not subscribe to any newsletters from retailers. The problem is I also don’t own a lot of clothes that is my style. I am not even sure what I like, to be honest.
What I need to do is go through all my clothes and only keep what I will wear. A lot of the items are beautiful and I love to wear them. The rest will be donated to Belle Whimsy Clothing or to a charity shop. Then I can make a list of clothes that I need or want in my capsule wardrobe and set out, mindfully, to purchase those things.
Here’s to a happy slow fashion 2020!