“I can’t remember a new year when I haven’t made a resolution. Get more sleep, drink more water, drink less booze, eat more fruit, learn Spanish. But there was only one pledge I’ve ever managed to stick to for longer than a few weeks, and possibly the only one that made me feel better about myself instead of worse – I broke up with fast fashion.”
Thus the article by Lauren Bravo on ‘The Guardian’ begins; Lauren is an English journalist and writer who witnessed her abstinence from compulsive shopping in the book ‘How To Break Up With Fast Fashion: A guilt-free guide to changing the way you shop – for good’.
No new clothes or accessories for a year. Purchases admitted in vintage and second-hand shops but with a very different approach from that in the high shopping street, where entering any clothing chain almost automatically assumes that you will go out with some purchases, while in the second-hand shop you learn to manage your expectations and to get out of it even empty-handed, because you know, for example, that you won’t find all the sizes or the model that suits you or the color you like. And the sense of defeat from lack of shopping is greatly attenuated.
Have you ever thought about this thing or the psychological pressure that we involuntarily suffer when we enter these multi-stores shopping temples? Finding everything you (don’t) need, feeling that you absolutely need it and at the same time realizing that if you don’t take it home the day will go wrong.
Lauren Bravo tells the reasons for her choice in a very personal way, going beyond the usual and in any case more than justified reasons related to the boycott of fast fashion: overproduction, pollution from hyper-production and also from disposal, the rights of workers trampled on, the poor quality of the materials.
Like when she writes that she always knew she hated changing rooms, but it wasn’t until she quit shopping that she realized how much how much self-loathing lurked behind those curtains. “Fast fashion made me feel as though I was failing it, every time the zip didn’t do up, or the buttons gaped, or the outfit that looked chic and insouciant on the mannequin looked strange and lumpen on me. I blamed myself, my body, when in fact – and I’m furious it took me 31 years to grasp this – it’s the clothes that should be auditioning for you. Not the other way round.”
Lauren Bravo then goes on to list some tricks adopted to use the already owned clothes several times and in a different way, including the layering (style that I love and that moreover is very fashionable, for those who always keep an eye on trends) : shirts under short-sleeved sweaters, sweatshirts over dresses over jeans and so on.
Then she goes on: “as so many business gurus will tell you, constraints force creativity. And when you limit your shopping options, you find yourself getting inventive with new tools instead. Sometimes superglue, sometimes scissors. My sewing skills have rusted since their GCSE Textiles heyday but since I stopped shopping, I’ve started tinkering more. I’ll take up a hem, change a neckline.”
Another tip: “ignore anyone who tells you to get rid of everything you haven’t worn in a year. Fashion is cyclical – come on, we know this – and no sooner have you sent a tired old trend off to the charity shop than Vogue will suddenly declare it hot again. Then she quotes Fashion Revolution: “The most sustainable item is the one you already own.”
Said by a fashion journalist then! Lauren Bravo goes on to reveal other tricks and alternatives to fast fashion, such as repeating successful outfits or exchanging clothes with friends. Of course, there are many possibilities and they give as much, if not greater satisfaction than a compulsive purchase. They stimulate the imagination, create bonds and make us feel more proud of us and our choices. Does it seem little to you?