For the past few decades, fast fashion has dominated retail brick-and-mortar shops as well as online clothing stores. Many consumers have come to rely on mass-manufactured clothes that put low cost at the forefront and quality on the back burner. I know I have here and there. It’s estimated that up to 92 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year instead of getting recycled, which blew my mind. This textile waste has added to global emissions that are already causing damage to the environment.
As a response to this issue, there’s been a movement – especially among the younger generation – to turn to “slow fashion,” an approach to clothing and fashion that emphasizes quality instead of price. Slow fashion also advocates mindfulness and choosing your clothes carefully instead of being quick to purchase clothes often. This is something I have been leaning towards lately in terms of clothes, but always have done with my bags. With an increasing number of people seeking to align their style choices with their values, slow fashion has emerged as a compelling lifestyle choice and I’m here for it!
If you’re interested in the slow fashion movement and revamping your wardrobe basics to feature slower alternatives that will last you, read on to learn more. It’s a great concept!
What Are the Benefits of Slow Fashion?
There are multiple benefits to pursuing a fashion approach that’s based on slower, more conscious consumption. Among the benefits of slow fashion are the following:
Quality Over Quantity
Investing in well-crafted pieces of clothing, even if you don’t have many of them in your closet, ensures that you get longevity and durability out of them. Thanks to their high-quality fabric and dependable craftsmanship, these pieces of clothing will spare you from the constant cycle of replacements associated with fast fashion.
At its core, slow fashion is ethical fashion. In supporting more socially responsible fashion brands, you can contribute towards the growth of a more equitable industry that prioritises fair labour practices and ethical production methods. Whether you’re buying quality basics like cotton leggings or premium jackets or shoes you’ll use often, you can rest easy knowing you’re supporting businesses that care for the environment and provide livable wages to their employees.
A Marriage of Sustainability and Timeless Style
Slow fashion’s emphasis on eco-friendly materials and reduced waste aligns seamlessly with a commitment to environmental responsibility. It doesn’t, however, mean that a slow fashion advocate can’t be stylish. On the contrary – unlike the transient nature of fast fashion trends, the superior craftsmanship and enduring design featured in slow fashion staples will guarantee that your wardrobe basics remain stylish for years to come. Think of minimalism and the quiet luxury trend. It’s something I am embracing!
13 Essential Slow Fashion Wardrobe Basics
Below are thirteen of the best slow basics that will keep you fashion-forward and help you unlock dozens of outfits, all without you needing to cycle through new clothes very fast:
1) The Perfect White Tee
Ideal for summer, the perfect white tee should be made of organic cotton for its comfort, versatility, and sustainability factors. Use a durable white tee as a wardrobe staple that can be worn with casual jeans or dressed up with a blazer.
2) A Classic Button-Down Shirt
Elevate your workwear wardrobe with a well-fitted button-down shirt from a brand known for ethical sourcing. This classic piece never goes out of style, whether you wear it with a pair of slacks or a pencil skirt.
3) A Timeless Little Black Dress (LBD)
Choose an LBD that effortlessly transitions from the boardroom to evening engagements, embodying both elegance and versatility. For a modern version of the LBD, choose one with an interesting twist like an asymmetrical neckline or fashion-forward sleeves. If you use it for every occasion that calls for a dress, it will serve its purpose as a slow fashion staple.
4) A Pair of Cotton Leggings
Whether you’re headed to the gym or just running errands around town, a pair of cotton leggings will provide mobility, comfort, and a solid foundation for longer tops. The right pair should last you a long time and merit no immediate replacements.
5) A Versatile Pencil Skirt
Another slow fashion lock-in that you should keep in your closet is a pencil skirt crafted from top-quality fabrics. Paired with a structured blazer, you’ll be leaving a powerful impression in the boardroom as someone who’s both fashionable and true to their beliefs.
6) Some Black Trousers with a Twist
Infuse your work wardrobe with creativity by opting for black trousers featuring unique design elements. A pair of high-waisted pants with wide legs will project comfort and confidence and be usable for more than a few wears.
7) A Neutral-Coloured Blazer
Embrace both professionalism and sustainability with a neutral blazer sourced from a brand that prioritizes ethical manufacturing practices. This essential piece will instantly glam up jeans, tees, and other basics that you rotate for your workwear or smart casual needs.
8) An Elegant Silk Blouse
For that one good blouse that exudes sophistication, opt for a silk piece sourced responsibly and designed timelessly. Pair it with trousers or a skirt to look effortlessly chic on special occasions.
9) A Sustainable Sweater
Choose a sustainably sourced sweater, made from materials like wool or cotton, to ensure comfort and style while minimizing your ecological footprint. There are endless ways to style a sweater that can take you from autumn to spring. A good sweater for all seasons is a slow fashion must-have.
10) Some Dark-Wash Denims
Select well-fitted dark-wash jeans from slow fashion denim brands that feature wearable modern designs with an eco-consciousness sensibility. These jeans will be able to serve you for years, or even decades, if you choose the right pair. I’m a huge denim lover as you know and premium is a good way to go.
11) Ethically Made Accessories
It’ll be easy to reinvent your outfits and make them seem new again with a small, but versatile collection of ethically crafted accessories. Choose the kind that are made from sustainable materials, like upcycled wood or paper, and avoid low-quality fast fashion pieces that could easily come apart or grow stale after a few wears.
12) Eco-Friendly Footwear
You can also explore your local sustainable fashion scene and acquire shoes made from eco-friendly materials, such as vegan leather. Look for stylish footwear that can last you and make sure you live up to your developing value of slow fashion.
13) A Timeless Trench Coat
For a slow fashion item that you can use for years, complete your wardrobe with a well-made and functional trench coat. This is a closet staple that you can use for many seasons of cold weather without falling out of style.
Who says you can’t be fashionable and conscious about the environment at the same time? Now that it’s more urgent than ever to watch out for the ecological health of the planet, you can aim to be both. Whether you’re buying a few of these pieces from the rack, thrifting them from secondhand stores, or inheriting them from family and friends, work towards building a wardrobe that will last for years instead of a few washes. I know minimalism is something I am very into now and quality is the most important it’s ever been to me. So many brands are lacking in quality now and just focusing on the speed in which they can produce items (this even includes designer name brands unfortunately), it’s a real shame. Slow fashion is the way to go! What are your thoughts on it?