A majorly important step on your journey away from fast fashion and into the world of sustainable style is finding a voice and resource that is well-informed and trustworthy. Once you begin to see the alternatives to the endless fashion cycles and trends, it affects the decisions you make as a consumer and forces you to really think before pressing that order button.
My favourite source of information for all things slow fashion is Heidi from 'The Rogue Essentials' Instagram page. She does deep dives into the intricacies of the endlessly turning fashion wheel and analyses how consumers play a part in the cycle and how to get out of it. She's a refreshing dose of reality and the sharp shock needed to move away from brands that don't prioritise ethical fashion practice.
But what's more exciting is that instead of just condemning these places, Heidi offers alternatives and solutions to our current problem, providing amazing tips and info that you need to start down a more sustainable path. I picked out her top tips below to give you a sample of just some of her great ideas and accessible alternative routes.
We love this quick and informative reel about alternatives to fast fashion denim wear. Denim is one of those materials that will never go out of style, so investing in a good pair of jeans, jacket or whatever is always well worth it. However, as Heidi points out, it takes 1800 gallons of water alone to grow enough cotton to make a pair of denim jeans. That insane number is mind boggling if we think of the sheer amount of denim clothes being sold online each day. Heidi provides info on sustainable brands that have far less impact on the planet in the production of their clothing like Kings of Indigo and Boyish Jeans, but stresses that the best way to buy is to source second hand.
Her swimwear sustainable sources make the important point that it's not always possible to buy everything second hand so having legitimate, accessible and good quality retailers that are committed to long term sustainability is important. Swimwear is difficult because it's not the same as buying a coat or a pair of jeans. We need to find something we feel genuinely comfortable and happy in and that isn't easy to find. This reel highlights that options are out there, if you know where to look.
This one is definitely something that we all need to hear. It's too easy to drop clothes off to charity shops or collections and just forget about them and the impact they can have. But with the world so saturated with clothing – and cheap, not-lasting clothing – lots of it never gets sold and ends up in a landfill anyway. Alternatives to dumping the problem somewhere else is to reuse, upcycle, repurpose, repair swap, sell or donate. Places like Big Sister Swap exists for exactly this purpose and there's lots of amazing accounts that focus on upcycling your clothes. It all takes more work, but if you're serious about this change, it's worth it.
This reminder that we already have everything we need to have the 'perfect sustainable wardrobe' is so important. Too often, we are being marketed to, so that we don't even realise the messages that we are picking up. This reality is calling out the culture that we need to buy to achieve certain aesthetics or lifestyles, whereas in reality we actually need to do the opposite – just wear what we own. A lot of it is about creativity. We look in our wardrobe and see that shirt and can only picture it over a certain pair of jeans instead of getting creative and putting it under that lace vest top or with that midi skirt, or seeing how pairing it with that pair of boots would change the whole look. It's important to make our clothes work for us and not limit ourselves through them.
Check out her page here for more great tips and wake up calls!