Slow Fashion Season: Wrap Up

It’s over! If you made it through Slow Fashion Season it’s the end of 3 months without purchasing new clothing. I really started out super confident and feeling like it would be extremely easy and for the most part it was, until right at the very end…

First the pros:

  • If everyone who signed up for the pledge truly didn’t buy anything new, we’ve saved 300 million liters of water and 1 million kilograms of CO2. That feels great!

  • By restricting my shopping I theoretically was saving money. (I’m sure I just spent it on food, but a nice thought.)

  • Limiting my social shopping was pretty revealing. Since my only option was to buy used, I had to stop and think if I really wanted the item or if I just wanted to buy something because I was out with a friend and it seemed fun to buy things together. I realized I’ve bought a lot just because I was already at a store, and hopefully I won’t do that anymore.

  • I’ve really identified the gaps in my wardrobe: I kept a list of clothes I wanted to buy once SFS was over and ordered it by priority. I may want a wool cape for winter but I need tennis shoes without holes in the soles, so that’s coming first.

  • I’ve come to embrace buying used: I’ve embraced ebay and depop over the last few months as an alternative to going to Union Square in a way I hadn’t before. It does require more patience and research but the price and environmental benefits are worth it.

The hard parts:

  • I might be pretty alone in this problem but I think I’ve gone too minimal in my wardrobe lately. When I had a pair of shoes wear through and some jeans disintegrate on me I was out of luck and had no backups. This is kind of my argument against capsule wardrobes in general, but I probably should keep this in mind whenever I start to KonMari my closet again, especially if I’m going to do another purchase restricting period.

  • Not buying t-shirts at concerts. I miss having a souvenir.

  • The serotonin rush of adding something to my closet! I can be an emotional shopper and there were times at the end where I thought I could cure a bad mood with new boots. (I did end up buying a used pair on depop, but that didn’t give the immediate satisfaction of seeing something new in my closet.) This is a horrible trait that I know I’m not alone in because most women my age thought of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet and shopping-as-therapy as aspirational. It’s good to resist but… very hard.

  • I didn’t take advantage of buying used/vintage until at the very end of this challenge, when I was overwhelmingly frustrated with my wardrobe options. Next year I won’t wait so long so that it doesn’t feel so limiting.

I feel like I became more aware of fashion wants versus needs during the last three months. We’re so bombarded with marketing and opting out can really highlight just how much we’re encouraged to buy. I’ll definitely participate next year, hopefully with a better prepared closet. I hope that if you didn’t join the pledge you will next time, so that we have an ever greater environmental impact. We’re living in an age of consumption over climate, and it can be really powerful to resist the forces that are destroying the planet, and you may also learn more about your own shopping habits as well.