Friday 2 October 2015

Slow Fashion October I: My Slow Fashion Story

Slow Fashion October

When I first heard the concept of Slow Fashion October over on Fringe Association, I was really excited by the idea of a month that celebrated individual takes on slow fashion. What I love in particular about Karen's idea is that it's inclusive of all - whether you're a thrifter, a maker, a mender, a minimalist, or just interested in supporting local, or sustainable, fair-trade companies, you can take part. It just so happens that with a quirk of coincidence, I was already planning a couple of posts touching on some of the issues connected with slow fashion, so thought I might as well tie them in with everyone else in October. Here's a quick introduction of how I got interested in slow fashion, and where I am today with my consumer habits...

There was never really a "Eureka!" moment with me for slow fashion, because I think the way I was brought up has really influenced my buying habits and made me aware of unnecessary waste. I remember going around second hand shops with my mum when I was little, at a time when second hand shopping wasn't quite as accepted, and vintage clothes were certainly not a 'thing'. But all the same, second hand shopping seemed very normal to me throughout my childhood, and I've continued to do it to this day, because it's cost effective, and I find rummaging through second hand shops strangely therapeutic. I also love the fact that I have unique items in my wardrobe that I won't see several other people walking along the street wearing at the same time!

However, making clothes is a newer process to me. Whilst buying second hand is something that I do for ease of living (economically, and the fact that living in a small town means there are more charity shops than anything else!), I make my own clothes primarily because I find it fun, and I really enjoy doing so. Over the next month though, I really want to look at whether making my own clothes is actually sustainable. I find that when knitting, it's quite easy to find how sustainable or environmentally friendly a skein of wool is - once you've tracked down the farm it came from, and read up on their ethics, you can be quite confident in the sustainability of your wool.

On the other hand, I find fabric to be a whole other ball park. Unless you're buying from a specifically sustainable/fair-trade/environmentally friendly company (which are few and far between) information about fabric is harder to track down. When I buy fabric from my local fabric shop, I can look at washing information, and the type of fabric it is, but not where the fabric was woven and under what conditions. I find this really frustrating, as making your own clothes gives you the opportunity to be really selective with your choice of materials, but not having all the information means that a lot of the time, I'm left questioning just how ethical my fabric choices are.

So, over Slow Fashion October, I want to look into how easily accessible ethical fabrics are, and I also want to experiment more with unravelling ready knitted items to make new things. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing other people's take on slow fashion too!


  1. What a great concept!! Loved hearing about your thoughts on this subject Charlotte (and thank you for introducing it to me!) I love seeing folks find ways to express themselves creatively and look out for Momma Nature; it gets me so pumped, as I am sure you know by now haha ;) Hope you are doing well my love, and that wool looks divine!!

    1. I love this idea too Anna, and I'm really looking forward to hearing other people's perspectives on sustainable fashion :) The wool is Rowan's Brushed Fleece and is divinely soft! I'm halfway through a pair of bed socks because I have fully embraced knitting for the colder weather haha! Hope you're well :)