Firstly, I apologise that it has taken me over a week to get the next blog post rolling. It has been a bit of a mare of a week! I had my first Covid jab though, yay!
Anyway.. that’s not what we’re here for today.
Today my post is about a book I read recently by a lovely freelance journalist called Lauren Bravo called ‘How to Break Up With Fast Fashion’…
I should probably explain why I picked up this book. I like to think of it as fate personally. Like, I had to immediately end my love affair with fast fashion for the foreseeable future and finally saw a guide on how to do so. Isn’t it great when the universe throws things at you at the right time? 😉
Now, I’m not exactly what someone would describe as ‘fashionable’ in the slightest. My trend is quite whacky. However, I shop a lot. For clothes in particular. And it’s not because I don’t have plenty of clothes to keep me going. My wardrobes and drawers are overflowing with stuff. It’s the Complexities of my ADHD-Anxiety ridden brain. I see a new cute outfit posted online and I have to buy it because it’ll look sooo good on me (spoiler alert: many times when the product arrived this was not the case).
Due to my low self-esteem I feel like I never quite look good enough, and I can’t possibly wear the same outfit more than 3 times right? So I have to keep building up that clothes collection, it’s the only way.
Anyway, I felt like Lauren’s book appeared by chance on my feed and I knew I had to get it and at least try it out and see if there was any good tips or facts in there to make me step back from constantly being in the red because of clothes I barely wear. And I have to say, I was not disappointed by this book.
Now I’m not going to spoil everything that’s in the book because then you won’t want to read it yourself. And I highly recommend purchasing this book and reading it in full. Also, I don’t really have the time or energy to basically write every single thing. But what I will do is go into detail about some of the things I’ve learned and how I now view the fashion world because of this book. So here we go;
Firstly, I want to say a massive chunk of respect needs to go to Lauren here for point blank admitting in the early part of her book that she is a hypocrite. I admire her for making this statement and explaining that she herself has struggled with being sucked in to fast fashion and I think that is so important. Too often we read nonfiction books from people who like to make out they are the best person ever to advise you on what to do or how to do something but a lot of the time end up (unintentionally) coming across in a holier than thou attitude.
We don’t need perfect guru’s. We need humans.
I think when you have someone that is expressing their findings and lifestyle in a way that they are telling you from the get-go that they don’t always get it right, it inspires people more. We all have flaws, addictions, issues etc that make us all the way we are and we need to stop comparing ourselves to the perfect highlight reels that don’t exist.
My eyes were opened by some of the things covered in Lauren’s book. I don’t know what I expected, but I think I thought it would be more just encouraging us that we don’t need to keep up with ‘trends’, maybe some advice here and there on how not to be an impulsive buyer (hi).
But the book touched on some very big issues, Lauren raises the fact that a lot of people throw clothes away and how damaging this is to landfill but also, the amount of suffering that is involved to make these clothes that I shamefully wear for 2 or 3 selfies then donate to Oxfam. Yes, I’m talking about the people who make your clothes. The ones who suffer day to day just so we can look and feel good in something that is probably worth ten times more then what they earned making it. We tune out a lot of the time to things that aren’t ‘directly in front of us’, or happening to us personally, but we need to wake up. This kind of regular suffering for our clothes is not okay.
There are also some tricks that Lauren teaches about really questioning if you need that item you think you do. Let me tell you, if I would have had that mentality before with my shopping addiction habits, I would have half of the wardrobe I do now and double the money. It sounds like a pretty self explanatory thing, the whole ‘want not need’ thing, but it’s easy to preach that when you’re not standing in your favourite high street boutique shop and thinking to yourself oh my gosh I will be fit in this! But Lauren handles this in quite a tactful way, instead of just a quick ‘do you need it though?’ question, Lauren goes through a whole list of questions to ask yourself before purchasing an item. The idea is, by the time you’ve gone through all those questions, you’ve probably gone off the idea of the item anyway.
Lauren is a genius. I tried out this routine questioning recently when I had the usual advert of new nice clothes popping up on my Insta feed, and it worked. As difficult as it was to bite my lip and swipe past that gorgeous 3-piece that I’m sure I could justify the £40 spend on, it was actually liberating to not buy it. I felt strong.
Also can we please express that second hand clothes and home made clothes are the best and we should SO get more into those?!
I love a charity shop. I remember buying a gorgeous right dress for a party once from a Peace hospice charity shop for ONE POUND. Charity shops have amazing hidden treasures, in decent quality and of course, money goes to charity! So it’s all the win’s in one go. Sadly at the moment due to pandemic, a lot of charity shops aren’t open but we need to get them thriving again when this virus has backed off. But that being said, since reading Lauren’s book I have discovered quite a few great online stores that deal with second hand items.
There’s one second hand clothing store I brought from recently called Lint Store and the quality of their stuff is as good as new. There are numerous good quality second hand stores and lots of people who are crocheting their own designed pieces or making their own dresses to sell etc. We should be supporting those businesses. Not the fast fashion industry.
I’ve also learned from reading the book that I am so lazy when it comes to clothes. We all are. When we get a little split in a top or a stain etc how many of us actually try to fix it? I don’t. I just give up on it and throw it away.
Lauren’s book also includes some great tips on how to fix certain clothing dilemmas, how to reignite the flame with your old clothing loves etc. It is really a vital handy tool for any one who wants to make a difference with how they see fashion.
One thing I also learned (thanks Lauren) is that there is such a thing as dry wash spray! What?! It’s dry shampoo for clothes!!! Obviously – please do continue to wash knickers and socks ladies, don’t be gross, but there is a spray called DAY2 which lifts odours, decreases and helps your clothes look fresh as ever without having to use the washing machine too much. I mean, let’s face it, how many times do we put something in the wash that we’ve worn for like 3 hours and apart from maybe a slight whiff of the barbecue you were just at it really doesn’t need a wash. The bottle also shows you how much water you’re saving by using the spray 🙂 it’s magic.
Honestly I don’t know about you guys but any little thing I can do here and there that makes just a little bit of a difference to the environment makes me super happy.
I think I’ve gone on a bit too long now. But you get the point I hope. Get creative, team up your old clothes with new items, take up a hobby in crochet or dress making if you’re feeling ambitious! But please, if you want to help the environment and also make a difference to how much money you spend (waste) on fast fashion, I could not recommend Lauren’s book enough. It has changed my perception so much.
You can get the book from Amazon.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post about things we can do to help the environment bit by bit 🙂