Just before the new year we lost a true fashion icon with the passing of Vivienne Westwood.
Not only was Westwood a true innovator of style as we know it today, she was also a huge advocate for sustainable fashion.
From using sustainable materials, to opting out of the fast fashion mindset, Westwood was a huge believer in buying fewer, higher quality pieces of clothing.
Fast fashion is a false economy. Brands and trend cycles manipulate you into following short term trends, rather than celebrating your unique, long term style. This is all done in the hope that you will buy more, and spend more.
More often than not, however, the revenue generated by this continuous cycle of consumption doesn’t end up in the pocket of the garment creator. Instead, these big companies opt for cheap labour, abusing the most vulnerable in our society and speeding up the climate crisis through its processes in order to sustain their greed.
What can you do to slow down fast fashion?
1. Get out the needle and thread.
On average, items are only worn a worryingly low total of 7 times before they are thrown away. Whether it’s a pair of tights, or your best party dress, with the right care and attention our garments can last for years. If you really want to get creative with your sewing kit, you could even transform an older piece into something brand new. Not only can learning to sew transform your wardrobe, it’s a great way of protecting people and the planet.
Looking for some inspiration and advice? Look no further than the businesses in our very own Kind Business Club.
Seated Sewing UK: A homegrown business where the designer “got it” when it came to adaptive products and accessories. Kat knows first-hand some of the complicating factors of disability that needed a solution. All of their products have been designed and road-tested by Kat, and they actively encourage feedback from clients to refine what they offer.
Unhidden: A collection of adaptive clothing for people with disabilities. Committed to making fashion more accessible, and providing those with disabilities and chronic illnesses with more style choices.
2. Shop Second Hand
If you're giving your wardrobe a revamp this new year, take a moment to consider Westwood's wise words. In a cost of living crisis, charity shops, vintage markets and shops and pre-loved ecommerce houses aren’t just affordable ways to inject some extra style into your wardrobe, they’re also an ethical way to slow down fast fashion for good.
Not sure where to start?
St Oswald’s Charity Shops: Support St Oswald’s Hospice by shopping at one of their shops located across the North East. In addition to second hand clothes, they sell a range of gifts and other new goods as well as high quality books, CDs, electrical goods and furniture.
The Vintage Store: As the UK’s biggest importer and seller of vintage clothing, you’re sure to find some second hand treasures at the Vintage Store. Whether you pop into one of their stores, visit one of their kilo sales, or opt for a surprise vintage box, not only are vintage styles always in fashion, they’re kinder to the planet too!
Used and Loved: Looking for all second-hand websites in one place? Head to Used and Loved! There’s a whole world of second-hand lying undiscovered right under our noses, so take a look through their website and search for the second-hand pieces you’ve been looking for.