1.Wear what you own.
The number one commandment of slow fashion is this — wear what is already in closet. Embracing slow fashion is not about changing your entire wardrobe, rather first wearing the pieces you already own.
2 . Care for your clothes.
Gently care for the pieces you already own so they last longer. Basically just follow the instructions on the care tag. Hand wash them, hang them to dry, take them to the dry cleaner. Practice gratefulness and care when it comes to your clothes.
3. Mend and alter.
Before donating, ask yourself if there is a way to mend or alter this piece to give it a longer life. Sometimes it takes just a little creativity and alteration to make something old new again. But if you are ready to donate, here’s 5 alternatives to Goodwill.
4. Borrow, don’t buy.
Borrowing is an underrated slow fashion tool. It’s a perfect option for those special occasions, like weddings. There are numerous sites that will let you rent clothes, but I normally just ask my friends.
5. Buy less.
I love that this commandment falls in the middle because it’s really the hinge of slow fashion. Simply buy less stuff. Consumerism is the fuel for fast fashion so by buying less, you are helping stop the fire.
6. Shop quality secondhand first.
When you’re ready to buy, start by shopping quality secondhand first. I put the word quality in there because I don’t think that buying secondhand is always the solution. In order for your new secondhand piece to last, it needs to be quality. If you’re new to shopping secondhand, here’s some of my top tips.
7. Educate yourself.
Slow fashion, ethical fashion, conscious consumerism — all these terms are completely unregulated. It can be frustrating trying to navigate who’s greenwashing and who’s really trying to make a difference in the fashion world. The best you can do is try to educate yourself. Ask: Have these companies obtained any outside certifications? Are they transparent about their supply chain? Do they highlight the people who make their pieces? If you still have questions email the company for more information!
8. Support ethical brands when possible.
I say “when possible” because I know it’s not always possible. But when you find a brand you trust and believe in, try to support them! Ethical fashion has expanded tremendously over the last decade, but it is still a small arena when compared to fast fashion. Your dollars really do matter.
9. Buy pieces you love and that will last.
Ethical or not, only buy pieces that you love and that will last. If you love a piece, you will naturally wear it multiple times and care for it. Before you buy, ask yourself–will I still want to wear this in one year from now? How about two or three?
10. Repeat & give grace.
The 10th commandant of slow fashion? Start back at commandment #1. And give grace to others and yourself on this slow fashion journey. Make the best choices you can with the resources you have, because that’s all anyone can do.