Slow Fashion + Why I'm Transitioning

Buying with a purpose was never the thing that came to mind when I was shopping back in middle school. In fact, I was thrifting because it was the only thing I could afford. I remember hanging out with friends who were wearing what was cool at the time (A&F which I despise for many reasons) and my single mother and I couldn’t keep up. Because I never truly liked what was in still at the time, thrifting was my way of breaking away from society standards of fashion and being creative. At a young age, I loved creating looks. I loved DIY’ing. I loved re-purposing items. As time went on, trends changed and it was harder to find exactly what I was looking for in those pesky Goodwill racks. I got lazy and I started working. My first ever retail job was at Plato’s Closet and I learned a lot about merchandising, brands, fabrics, and so much more. Being a buyer for the store opened my eyes to so much. I call that my ‘trial-and-error’ season. I tried it all. Because the prices were so low and I got an employee discount, I got used to paying very little for super cute things. This, of course, continued into more corporate retail stores like Forever 21. After years of shopping at major corporate retailers, I started to wonder how they could make the prices so low. How can they get trends out so quickly? Didn’t I just see that on Kendall Jenner?

Amanda Smith Sustainable Fashion

As you can tell by the title of this post, I’m talking about slow fashion and why I have transitioned to a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe, and eventually a way of living. I would love to start fresh but that would kind of go against the moral of sustainability. I’m not supposed to throw away my belongings, but recycle them, reuse them, donate them to people in need. I’m not going to write a long post about Slow Fashion 101, you could Google that and honestly, I’m just not in the mood for extensive research right now (currently in my bed under many layers of covers hiding from the New York snow). I AM here to tell you how and why I am transitioning my wardrobe into something more sustainable. After much research and closet clean-outs, I came up with a list of five reasons/ways to transition into a slow fashion wardrobe. Let’s get started!

  1. Supporting Good Business

Most of the times brands that fall under the “fast fashion” umbrella are not conducting ethical business. Don’t know what I’m talking about when I say, “ethical business”? All is good. Ethical business can be described as a way of conducting business that not only benefits you as the employer but the consumer in a moral way. You pay your employees a fair wage. Working conditions are safe, healthy, and most of all, conducive for every gender, race, and religious belief. Products are made with high-quality fabrics or ingredients are ethically sourced (i.e not mass-produced.) Ethical businesses are always looking for ways to improve their product, work culture, and business ethics are more important to them than profit.

2. Sustainable Products

Sustainable products are just products made from high-quality materials that can sustain time, wear and a long-lived life. In order to create sustainable products, you have to really understand natural fabrics, and be willing to put in the time and effort to make the product the highest quality it can be. What I love about the idea of Sustainable fashion is that it allows consumers to build their own personal style. How you might ask? Well, because the pieces are meant to be in your wardrobe for a while, and can sometimes cost a bit more than your $12 Forever 21 blouse, you are probably going to be more careful when making purchases. You’ll want to only get things you love and truly represent you the best.

Amanda Smith Sustainable Fashion

3. Thrift/ Resale Shopping

The last couple of years I have rediscovered my love for thrifting and creating looks from whatever I find. Not only is it so affordable, but I know whatever I find will be one of a kind. That I will be the only one with it. No matter where you live there are so many resources for you to thrift and resell the items you are no longer wearing. Search for Plato’s Closets near you to sell your clothes to. You can get paid or get store credit for most of your items. They can be picky, so make sure you’re taking good care of your clothes. ThredUP is an amazing online thrift and resale store. You can actually mail your items in to them to sell on their site in exchange for cash or store credit. Don’t have anything to get rid of? Feel free to shop on ThredUp’s site. I have some things from them that I love and wear all the time. Search for thrift and resale shops in your area or online! Another great online resource is Depop, which I just started selling some of my items on their. You can shop my closet HERE.

4. Donations

Some of the time your clothes may be too worn or have a slight tear in them and cannot be sold, but that’s okay. There’s always someone who will wear your items and probably needs them too. Find your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Homeless Shelter and drop off your unwanted items. You’ll feel good knowing they are going to people in need, and you’ll have less clutter in your closet. Grab a few friends to come over and help you Marie Kondo your closet away and you’ll have a blast de-cluttering. It might be stressful at first, but in the end, you’ll feel better.

Amanda Smith Slow Fashion

5. Research

There are tons of reasons why you should transition to slow fashion and get educated about what you’re buying (not just items but the brand you’re buying into.) Don’t know where to start, I can help! Want to get started with the basics? Read THIS on slow fashion to learn where it originated from and what it really is. Feeling lazy but you want to get involved in some way, read THIS. Slow fashion delivered right to your door? Okay, read HERE. Want to know what brands are ethical? Here’s a list. Still don’t understand why fast fashion is so bad, read HERE. There’s so many other articles I could share with you, but if this sounds important to you then you will be motivated to do your own research. Not to mention, that’s kind of the point. Slow fashion requires you to know what you’re doing when you’re shopping. Know what kind of company you’re giving your money to. It requires you to take accountability for your actions and to understand what you’re a part of. It’s easy if you’re passionate about human rights, helping our planet, and giving back.

All in all, I am not sharing this to make anyone feel bad for shopping at Forever 21, H&M or Target. A lot of brands are catching on to these important factors in their business and taking steps to becoming more ethical. Not all, but some. I am so proud to say that I am trying my personal best at transitioning into a fully sustainable wardrobe. I’m not perfect, and I have a ways to go, but I’m excited about this journey and everything that I will be learning. I hope you join me and the millions of people around the world working to make this a better place for nature, humans, and animals. If you are in the same boat as me, comment on what you have learned down below. I would love to hear from you. Until next, time…

As Told By,