Happy Friday, lovelies! It’s almost the weekend, and with that means one thing: the end of Slow Fashion Season! *jazz hands* In case you weren’t aware, I have been participating in the Slow Fashion Season challenge. Slow Fashion Season is a 3-month challenge (6/21-9/21) in which I cannot buy new clothes, substituting that with sustainable alternatives such as thrifting and upcycling. As the challenge comes to an end, I want to share a few of the highs and lows I’ve experienced while on this journey.
I’ll be different and start with the lows of the experiment. For a while, I felt pretty limited because I couldn’t buy anything new. Honestly, I felt really defeated at times. You don’t realize how easy it is to impulse-buy things you don’t really need (and aren’t the best for the environment) until you can’t do it anymore. I had to miss out on all the end of summer sales, holiday sales, and even had to skip shopping for my birthday dress. While I thrifted more to make up for it (and found even more amazing items than ever before), I still had serious FOMO. It’s hard to watch your friends (and other bloggers) do hauls on all their new items they’ve purchased for end of summer/fall, and not feel like you’re behind the curve. While I ultimately skipped NYFW this season to focus on my launch, part of my concern in going initially was having nothing to wear. Needless to say, this challenge taught me lessons about myself that I wasn’t previously aware of, and can work on fixing in the future.
Now on to the good stuff, as this slow fashion season has been eye opening in so many great ways as well. First, can we talk about how I was able to finesse an entire new fall wardrobe for less than $100? I’m talking blazers, a couple suits, skirts, several pairs of trousers, boots, all of it! While things were slow initially (as I had to find my footing), I was able to throw myself wholeheartedly into thrifting and finding excellent quality items secondhand, without the distraction or access to new and mass-produced items. I’ve also learned a great deal about upcycling, which essentially is repurposing items you already have versus buying new. For example, I have a pair of basic black jeans that I recently cut a few inches off of to make them more appealing for my current style. This worked out better than trying to thrift a pair or spending money on a new pair, and it also forced my creativity.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months cleaning, donating, and just generally reorganizing. I have to say, it feels really good to put more thought behind each look. Another luxury of buying fast fashion often is that we don’t have to try as hard to get dressed every day, with the constant access to new. Working with and rotating items I already have in my closet has allowed me to really experiment and try different styles outside of my comfort zone. Most of all, I have a greater appreciation for the business and legacy of fashion, and how good quality pieces can be treasured for years to come.
I’ve been asked quite a bit recently if I would do this challenge again. The answer? (Surprisingly), yes. While I love and have a weakness for certain brands, I can shop smarter on the road to sustainability. This experience has increased my awareness on impulse spending, as well as buying for need and not want. I recommend you try even just a month of not buying new clothes, to see how quickly things change.