If you don't follow @thriftyphoebs on Instagram, do it now! With her focus on rethinking, reducing, renting and rewearing, she's influencing for positive fashion. Encouraging her followers to slow down their consumption habits, she offers her pre-love fashion finds and styling tips so we asked her to share some with our readers. Keep reading for her top sustainable fashion tips!
The internet is at your fingertips and is absolutely saturated with useful resources - use them! ‘How To Break Up With Fast Fashion’ by Lauren Bravo is a book I read when I first decided I needed to change the way I shopped. Lastly, if you’re a student and have access, I highly recommend reading your online university journals. A lot of my knowledge about the damage caused by the industry I found in journals—I had over twelve pages of references for my final year project. Whilst studying I predominately used Google Scholar and Sage journals. McKinsey and Company is another interesting and powerful resource, since they release annual reports about The State of Fashion.
Unsubscribe to fashion marketing emails and delete fast fashion apps. Temptation and convenience can be all-consuming. I found an out of sight out of mind approach was the easiest way to help kickstart the change, avoid the temptation and cleanse your emails and homescreen of toxic shopping habits.
Unfollow fashion influencers that do regular fast fashion hauls. My metaphor for this is you would never sit in a McDonalds if you were trying to give up burgers, so why would you sit and watch someone shop so unconsciously when you’re trying to kick the habit?
Follow other people on Instagram that are doing the same thing, a few of my favourite slow fashion and related accounts are @theniftythrifter_, @notsosloppy, @thesustainablefashionform and @luciejenbea to name a few!
Tell your family and friends. By taking accountability for your actions you will have motivation to carry on and you are much more likely to stick with it. People will ask you how you are getting on, encourage you and no doubt offer you their old clothes which is such a GREAT perk. Honestly, the amount of gems I have received since starting this journey is unbelievable!
First things first, read up when buying new. I’ve found that just because a brand demonstrates transparency it does not necessarily mean it is sustainable. Let’s not get honesty confused with sustainability, hey! We are praising brands for being transparent, this should be common practice. If you find searching on the internet difficult and time consuming, download the The Good on You app—it makes everything a whooooole lot easier.
When buying secondhand, don’t be afraid to ask sellers from which materials the clothing is made. You want to build a sustainable wardrobe from quality clothing which is destined to last. I would always advise choosing items that are made from natural fibres; i.e. cotton, silk and wool and steer away from anything synthetic.
Wear what you already have and shop your own wardrobe! The most sustainable way to shop and the most sustainable thing in your wardrobe is what is already in there, so wear what you already own, raid your family members' wardrobes and swap with friends.
Also, why not consider upcycling? Look into giving your current wardrobe a makeover. It is so important to never be put off by sizes when you shop second hand. Giving your existing clothes a makeover or being open-minded about chopping, changing, embroidering and/or adjusting will be the biggest game changer for you.
Write yourself a thrifty shopping/wish list. I like to think of it as you would never go food shopping without a list so why on earth would you go clothes shopping without one?! A list is a great way to keep you on track, stop you from impulse buying and from unnecessarily over consuming piles of fabric. Overconsumption is one of the biggest issues associated with fast fashion—but I won’t get into that here!
Meet Barbara McMillan – style editor and founder of British sleepwear brand Honna London – as she chooses her favourite HURR rentals for the season.