SLOW FASHION

17 months have passed since my last post about “turning 30 and revamping my wardrobe”

Now 31, I am still trying to figure out when and where to spend my money wisely for most of the time. I have nonetheless, picked up 2 new shopping habits.

Habit number 1: BUY LESS / SPEND MORE / INVEST IN QUALITY!

One of the major changes in my spending habits when it comes to shopping is to buy less often but to spend a bit more and invest in good long lasting pieces.
I’ve been buying more vintage pieces and handmade clothes from independent small businesses. This is a more sustainable approach, not only for my pockets but also to tackle consumerism and mass production of unecessary goods.

IMG_20170601_213548_799A vintage Japanese Kimono I bought from Time Trip & Co / The Doll is available on my Etsy shop!

I’ve never been one to follow trends and always bought what I liked, and Zara has always been my “go to” kind of shop.

But as I grow older I question the ethics behind their brand more and more.
I’ll be honest I still shop there from time to time, and can’t help to take a look at what’s in store when I go in town, but nowadays I’m better I prioritising and budgeting where and when to spend.

When I look at a lovely Zara dress at £29.95 I no longer try to find reasons to convince myself that I need it or worse that I deserve it! Instead I stop and think about that lovely vintage dress, (the one I saved to my Pinterest board last month) at £70 instead and go with that option.

It may sound crazy at first to buy a dress for £70, (especially when money is no luxury) but it’s better than spending £120 for 5 items (from Zara for example) and ending up with yet too many clothes in your wardrobe and still “nothing to wear”!

Instead, I end up spending less of my monthly shopping budget and I’m satisfied with my purchase and won’t feel the need to buy again until next month or longer.

For me, this new approach to spending is working well so far.

I’ve been wanting to downsize my wardrobe for years now and it’s always been a struggle because I was in this loop of buying every month; I’d get rid of 5 pieces and buy 7 new ones. Now I am steadily getting rid of what I no longer need or want and replacing it with truly loved items which I know will stand the test of time and that I’ll enjoy wearing!

Habit number 2: BUY FABRIC / MAKE YOUR OWN!

IMG_20170630_203725_680Fabric bought on sale at John Lewis.

OK, this one won’t be for everyone. Some people don’t like sewing or just can’t be bothered to and that’s ok! I love makeup but I can’t be bothered to do it, lol.

But if YOU can be bothered to have a go at it and are prepared to fail at first (not always) then do give it a try! There is nothing more rewarding than having worked for something to make it your own.

I’ve made one or two pieces of clothing in the past but never to this level and with this much determination to keep at it. So I consider myself to be fairly new at it, and it’s still a daunting prospect to tackle a design. I’m not always sure where to start or how to start, and what if I ruin the fabric and end up being left with nothing, etc, etc… I go through all this questions and reasons to give up, but as it is often the case when I’m scared, I just dive into it!


The first top I made was pretty simple and I used some fabric my Mum had kept for years at home back in France. So I thought, why not? I don’t have anything to lose if it all goes wrong, I can still use the scrap for doll making or anything crafty that requires a smaller quantity of fabric. For this top, I was inspired by Julia, from Contour Affair and her simple tutorial here.

And here I made some origami bird out of that same fabric 🙂

Also if you are a newbie in both sewing and clothes making, don’t be afraid to look around for tutorials and inspiration to get you started. Pinterest and Google are your friends! One of the sites I like to practice from is: The Thread

But most of the time I pick a picture of what I want to create and use the clothes I already have as a pattern to guide me.
It can take a day to a week to create your own clothes depending on how good you are with a needle or how much time you have to dedicate to it. This is why it’s called Slow Fashion! But not only… Slow Fashion, is a movement that is slowly gaining momentum and I can only hope it’s here to stay. The concept behind slow fashion is to produce fewer quantities of items, of superior quality and keeping sustainability in mind throughout the process.

What does that entail? Reducing mass production and producing cheaply (cost and labour), minimising the carbon footprint and elevating the individuals as well as encouraging diversity in creation and consumption.

In my case, since I am not a business, Slow Fashion translates as putting into practice all of the things I mentioned earlier in this post: Buying less, spending more on quality (material, condition of creation), supporting handmade artisans, and by creating my own clothes too, with sustainably sourced fabric (thrift stores, donation, up-cycling)

If you want to read more about Slow Fashion: Not Just a Label, has an interesting note on the subject, here.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how I made a wrap skirt, with a step by step tutorial and some pretty pictures!

-C.

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