Tuesday, 31 May 2016

10 Rules for a Fast Fashion Detox

I am officially undergoing a fast fashion detox. It's been a long time coming as I've steadily meandered my way towards a more sustainable wardrobe. However, for all my second hand shopping and DIYing, the odd high street purchase just kept creeping its way in. Just here and there, but it was enough to make me feel guilty and hypocritical. So I declared no more (to myself, it was all very undramatic) and thus I find myself on a fast fashion detox. 

As detoxes go, it's been mostly painless. I haven't had to shell out £££s to a facebook juice cleanse guru, I've had no hunger pangs and fast fashion isn't just going to pile back on as soon as I finish the course. I feel like this metaphor has gone awry, so let's commence with the rules.

1. Delete the ASOS app. Do it now. Binning the ASOS app felt like deleting a bad boyfriend's phone number. It was just sitting there on my phone; a constant temptation. I was at the mercy of fast fashion's wily charms. Delete that shit. It only wants you for your money.

2. Unsubscribe to store emails. What's more tempting than new shoes? New shoes that have 20% off. It's funny how you only realise you 'need' something once you've set eyes on it.

3. Tell a friend. Unlike the aforementioned juice cleanses, this particular detox can be undertaken without daily facebook posts and and photo updates of your midriff, but declaring your intentions to someone makes you accountable which is helpful when breaking any habit. If they're a good friend they'll steer you in the opposite direction when you're staring longingly at the Topshop window display. Perhaps even in the direction of a pizza. Speaking strictly in South Park terms, you need an accountabilibuddy. 

4. Download Depop. A rebound is a tried and tested method of getting over someone, so let Depop be your rebound after the difficult break up that was you and ASOS. But beware, fast fashion retailers lurk among its murky depths, so stick to second hand and vintage accounts only.

5. Be prepared for all your favourite shops to simultaneously drop incredible collections. Much like when shopping with an empty bank account, everything you can't have becomes all the more tantalising. Zara, for instance, have had the audacity to release a pair of the dreamiest, brightest trousers I ever did see but I. will. not. cave.

6. You don't have to embrace 'vintage style'. More of a comforting thought than a rule but shopping vintage doesn't mean looking vintage. As evidenced by my recent post, you don't have to buy new to look current.

7. Only window shop if you have unbreakable willpower. I occasionally like to window shop without any intention of parting with any cash but it's a dangerous game. Don't tempt yourself without a) your accountabilibuddy to swat your sweaty palms away from that top that doesn't really count because it's only cheap, b) absolutely zero money or methods of payment about your person or c) willpower of steel.

8. Broaden your horizons. Take the opportunity to find new labels which meet your moral and ethical standards.

9. Find your style. Opting out of fast fashion allows you, in many ways, to opt out of the relentless onslaught of trends. Give your style some breathing space and find out what you really love. Maybe cold shoulder tops and culottes aren't really your thing after all.

10. Don't believe the hype. Despite what shops and magazines would have us believe, you don't need a new outfit for every occasion. If you're lucky enough to have the jam-packed social schedule shops presume you have, resist the urge to let them use it as an opportunity to sell you something. Of course, sometimes we really do need something new (wellies for a muddy festival, a wetsuit for an underwater wedding...) but wearing a  pre-loved dress definitely won't ruin your holiday/wedding/festival/party.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

In Search of Content

Writing something meaningful to accompany an outfit photo isn't always an easy task. Often, I (my patient boyfriend) will take a photo of a particularly good outfit when we're out and about with the intention of banking it for a later blog post. But unless I've shot the outfit with a specific post in mind, it's difficult to write anything of substance that I think any sane person would care to read about. 

A few of the aforementioned 'banked' outfits

Does anyone care that I liked my shoes last Thursday and want to see thirteen almost identical photos of me to demonstrate that? I doubt it. Or maybe they do and the same crippling sense of self awareness which has me forever hovering over the 'Tweet' button thinking 'who really wants to know what I just watched/ate/listened to?' prohibits me from indulging in lighthearted blog-based discourse. But, social media anguish aside, we live in the era of content, and content = page views. This is why the internet is saturated with posts such as this:

How amazing is this [insert item] from [insert brand who sent me it for free]?! I wore it last night to [sponsored event] and it got sooooo many compliments! I'll defo be wearing it all summer [it will be on depop next week].

It's quick, easy and doesn't say very much.This works for some but not for me, and it's why those banked photos usually remain banked in favour of more focused posts. I want to write the same kind of blog I want to read. 

I will read about the history of the colour orange. I will scroll through your post about how platform shoes saved your life. I have literally read an in depth personal essay about the prevalence of buttons in the writer's life. However frivolous, vacuous or materialistic some people think fashion is, I will never dismiss it as a mindless pursuit. I'm interested in the creative value of fashion; how style impacts confidence and changes perceptions. I'm interested in up and coming designers with boundless talent and the sustainable labels who are fighting back against fast fashion. It doesn't have to be serious but it's certainly not stupid. Man Repeller sums up my position on fashion perfectly in their twitter bio: "Where an interest in fashion never minimises one's intellect".

So, I might not be able to post every single outfit highlight on here, but I will at least try to post with purpose. And I can always just stick all my outfits together in a collage at a later date...