While I believe in buying ethical fashion but I also believe in slow buying. The big question is can slow buying be a form of ethical closet?
I have a few pieces in my closet that I can admit to owning for more than 5 years. My mom raised us with frugality in mind, buying on sale and if you needed. We rarely went out on huge buying sprees even in high school. After Travis and I got married we realized how broke we were, clothes shopping hit an all time low and a only when necessary point. So, a few years ago when I began to transition my own closet to a more ethically minded one, I had a few personal issues I had to get around first.
One was, so where do I start?
I decided to start slow. Identify a few brands whose mission and ethics I wanted to support but could also afford. Over the last 2 years, I have slowly moved from cheap and fast fashion pieces to more ethically made. But, I also bought a pair of jeans last fall from Target, it wasn’t one of my greatest moments but I own only 3 pairs of jeans. You see one pair from 6 years ago had become too stretched out and destroyed to wear regularly any more, and honestly I wasn’t in the position to spend $100 on jeans. I made a trip to Target and found a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly, and I’ve wearing them ever since.
I believe if you care for your clothes by washing well and storing properly then you will help keep them nice and give them a longer life and by doing so you’ll be buying less, whether fast or slow fashion.
So, if you only buy a piece here and there once a season or perhaps quarter of the year, would this contribute to an ethical closet?
This issue was brought up by not one but two ethical bloggers (@simplylivandco and @happymalista) that I admire on Instagram in the last few weeks. It’s not always ideal to buy fast but sometimes the cost is too high, you can’t find that ethically made piece in the style you’re looking for, or you need to replace something. I wish I could have bought a pair of ABLE denim when I needed new jeans last fall but it wasn’t financially feasible at the time and although I still would LOVE to have a pair I feel it’s irresponsible for me to splurge on something my closet doesn’t actually need, now.
Even though I’ve been working towards an ethical closet for 2 years, I’m still far from the goal. Not every piece I own and wear is made fairly, but I am getting all the life I can out of my cheap and fast fashion pieces. In addition to an ethical wardrobe, I want a low waste wardrobe, I don’t want to be overly contributing to the textile waste already occurring. There is no point in me buying that pair of ABLE denim now that I own a perfectly good pair of jeans from Target, it’s not ideal but I need to wear these out before I can justify buying them. Not everyone is this way, but I can’t bring myself to buy something I already own.
I hope that the next time I need to replace an item from my closet, I’ll be able to choose a better made product that also can be worn for years to come.
Are you slowly working toward a simpler, ethical, sustainable closet?
Do you think buying slow is a good way to move toward a more ethically minded closet?