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In our opinion Lottie Woods from Into the Eco is one of the UK based sustainable fashion blogs you need to know. Her style is as vibrant and lively as London. She is positive about everything and writes about things that she really cares about, and sustainability in fashion is one of them. She wrote for Beyneu a thought-provoking post about conscious shopping and how to love your clothes more than once. 

The slow fashion movement is here to stay and I am going to say optimistically that, slowly, I think the message is spreading. Although it feels unnatural at times to go slower in a world that has become all about speed, we think there is value in deciding to slow down in many areas of our busy lives. One of these areas is the pace at which we purchase new clothes. Slowing down our reactive relationship with clothes is not about falling behind, rather learning to purchase clothes at our own pace and learning more about ourselves in the process.

bomber jacket sustainable fashion Model is wearing Bomber Jacket by Teller. Photo by Josh John Photography

Taking a step back from the fast fashion treadmill allows us all to question what we really want from our clothes, and helps us to start channelling those desires in a healthier fashion, so to speak. Through buying for love over lust and quality over quantity we can start to be the person we truly want to be, giving meaning back to our clothes.  

Why do we say that? Well, when you take a second to think about it we live in a society designed to make us constantly want to buy new things instead of appreciating what we have already got. It can be really hard to resist the allure of the new, but I like to question whether this nature of buying is actually making us happier?  

Slow fashion can offer a breath of fresh air into our lives by relieving us of the pressure to “keep up” that is leaving us with a wardrobe full of unloved clothes and potentially affecting our self-esteem in the process.  

Trends change so quickly in the current fast fashion system. We are told to believe what the trends are, but they are never around enough to really get behind, as we buy into one trend another has already come through and passed it by. Meaning that it has become more important than ever to know our own style and dress for that. Slowing down our purchases allows us to buy items that we deem to be valuable in style and quality. 

sustainable fashion organic clothing bloggerLottie Woods Into the Eco by Josh John Photography

I am not supporting a boycott on buying, mindful purchasing is not about quitting shopping altogether, it is about valuing each piece we buy as much as possible, and buying something because we really want it, instead of buying endless impulsive pieces that are probably destined for the charity shop or recycling bin within the year.  

How many times have we bought clothes we were not quite sure about? Honestly, if you don’t love it when you buy it you never will. 

Introducing the challenge. When we are shopping, if you are buying something for a special event or an everyday piece, a great thing to start doing is to imagine yourself wearing it 30 times or more.  This can be on its own or mixed with other pieces you already own. Ask yourself questions like can I dress this up and down to create different looks, is it value for money? Do I own things already that go with this? If the answer is no, it is better to save your money for something when the answer is a resounding YES.

 organic clothing blogger sustainable fashionLottie Woods Into the Eco by Josh John Photography

In the long run following this mantra will start to help us all see that there is joy in owning fewer clothes. A cleaner closet will help every day of our lives. It sure does help when getting dressed in the morning. No more laying on our bedroom floors screaming, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR” surrounded by multiple discarded options. I know I am not the only person to have done that. 

I can't tell you how much easier I found it to get ready in the mornings now I follow this basic principle, of owning clothes I really enjoy wearing. I don’t get the urge to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe once a month just because I am having a low confidence day or I am struggling to decide what goes together.  

Choosing better quality clothes, looking after them, wearing them 30 times or more, and extending the average life of clothes, is one of the best things we can do to make a positive impact not just for ourselves but for the planet. 

 Lottie Woods into the eco bloggerLottie Woods Into the Eco by Josh John Photography

Studies say that extending the life of our clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of our carbon, water, and waste footprints, plus choosing garments that last longer helps to reduce unnecessary production and processing impacts.  

We think this is really great news! As this proves that as consumers have the power to effect change in our day to day lives. So if you are feeling frustrated, like it is too hard to make a difference, we are here to tell you that is not true. Individuals can effect change by making small conscious efforts, and this is a really good place to start. Try it for yourself and see how much better you feel. Deciding to cut out impulsive buying sends the message to yourself, saying you are good enough as you are. You do not need a new outfit to be happy. It sounds small but it really does work. 

Replacing the voice in your head telling us, we look awful and must buy new clothes immediately, with a much healthier voice, telling us we look great because we are wearing things that we really do love and represent our unique style. Wouldn’t that be a better way to start each day? 

Millions of pounds a year on spent on advertisements that tell us we will be happier, more stylish, and more fulfilled if we buy a new outfit, but that goal still always feels out of reach. Taking control of our purchasing power is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves. Once we decide that we will only buy new pieces that fill us with joy enough to wear them again and again, we are doing so much more than being a sustainable badass, we are learning to love ourselves and be more confident in the process. Plus we are sending a message out into the world that we demand a healthier industry. 

Does this sound good? Start the 30 wears challenge today and look at your clothes differently, challenge yourself to wear pieces you already own more before buying a replacement. Fall back in love with your wardrobe. Look at things you have already worn 30 times or more and ask why you like them so much. Really start to analyse what you want from your clothes. If you want cheap throwaway pieces, then there is nothing we can say to change your mind, but personally, I think we can all do better than that. 

organic fashion bloggerLottie Woods Into the Eco by Josh John Photography 

Here I am wearing my old denim jacket, I am in the process of fixing it up a little and adding my stamp on it, with badges and safety pins. I need to learn how to darn some of the holes up so it doesn’t disintegrate while I am wearing it, but I love how it now has become unique through the wear and tear. It may have started as a mass-produced garment but I don’t think of it that way anymore. This is my favourite piece to throw over any dress in the summer as I feel it instantly makes an outfit me. 

We hope that you are looking forward to being part of the sustainable solution to our current over purchasing habits and that you enjoyed this post. Perhaps it has led you to think about your wardrobe and how often you wear your clothes. Help spread the word about the 30 wears challenge, and tell us about some of your most loved pieces. We are all on the journey together.

bomber jacket sustainable ethical fashionModel is wearing Bomber Jacket by Teller. Photo by Josh John Photography

PS. I really love my new pair of Red Lucy and Yak Dungarees from Beyneu. They are so my style, mixing cool effortless pieces that are comfortable is so important to me and these fit those requirements perfectly, I can’t wait to wear them many more times. Watch out on my Instagram from outfit posts coming soon. 

Photography by Josh John Photography @joshjohnphotography 

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