I’m happy to announce that as of yesterday, the first day of summer, I’ll be participating in Fashion For Good‘s #slowfashionsummer. Fashion For Good is an Amsterdam based company that defines itself as “a global initiative to make all fashion good.” They’re all about using innovation and collaboration to make lasting changes in fashion that will make it a better industry for the planet and its people.
From the Fashion for Good website:
Fashion for Good™ enables the daring invention and widespread adoption of good fashion practice with ‘The Five Goods’: Good Materials, Good Economy, Good Energy, Good Water and Good Lives.
I discovered Fashion for Good on Instagram when they were campaigning for their #slowfashionsummer project. In a nutshell, the purpose of the project is to get 2500 people to commit to not buying any new clothes for three months (June 21-September 21) in order to reduce waste related to the fashion industry, which is often credited as the second most polluting industry in the world. Fashion for Good says that if they reach their participant goal, #slowfashionsummer “will save 90 million liters of water as well as prevent 360k kilograms of CO2 from being emitted.” I don’t know exactly what that translates to in #America units, but I know it’s a lot. If you’ve been looking for a way to get involved with the slow fashion movement, this is a great way to do it. And it won’t cost you a penny.
I’ll admit that I signed up for #slowfashionsummer with reservations. I was scrolling through insta on my lunch break when I saw the bright, demanding info graphic and gave it a double tap. That’s great for other people, I thought, but I can’t really do that right now. In my head, I ticked off the laundry list of reasons why I couldn’t participate. I still want to pick up a few of the things on my list. I said I would buy new underwear soon, I should really do that. This takes place over a change in season, and I need to start buying my fall necessities now.
But in my heart of hearts I know that these excuses are just that – excuses. I’m a grown-up. I know the difference between want and need. I have what I need – clothes on my back, a safe place to live and work, clean water to drink, and good food to eat. Most people in the world are not guaranteed even these most basic human necessities, so, with that perspective in mind, I think I can get along just fine in last year’s boots.
While the official rules of #slowfashionsummer allow you to get creative with swapping and thrifting, so long as you don’t buy anything brand new, I don’t think I’m going to allow those concessions into my own challenge. It’s all too easy for me to spend money here and there on Poshmark and pretend I’m doing a good deed buy purchasing second-hand, but if we’re being real, I just don’t have the disposable income for new clothes right now.
If you haven’t been reading my blog from the beginning, let me give you a quick snapshot of my life: I’m 27. My husband is in school full time finishing up his bachelor’s degree, and we live on one very modest salary (mine) in a very expensive city. Our combined student debt is not a small number, and beside that, we have some lingering credit card debt (from our wedding, emergency veterinary care, etc.) and we want to start saving for a house and a family. At some point in the next few months, I’m going to need to cough up a significant sum of money for all the dental work I’ve been putting off (THE DENTIST IS SO SCARY AND EXPENSIVE). It’s true that sometimes I genuinely need new clothes, but right now, clothing is not a financial priority.
I think that going on this official “no-buy” will be really good for me. It’ll take the pressure off to buy new things. It will give me time to put away some money for the stuff I actually do need in the fall. And, of course, it will force me to get more creative with the things I already own.
Here are some things I plan to do (and you can do too!) to make it easier:
- Unfollow all clothing/jewelry/accessory companies and shopping accounts on Instagram. Yes. All of them. Even my very favorites.
- Unsubscribe from emails from those companies.
- Delete my Poshmark app.
- Evaluate and trim my current wardrobe. I know what you’re thinking. Why am I starting a no-buy by getting rid of even more of my existing clothing?? Well, you know how when you have a plant and it’s got some yellowy leaves on it, and the whole plant looks kind of dingy, but then you remove those leaves and suddenly the plant looks beautiful and perfect again? It’s kind of like that.
I hope that you’ll consider joining this project. I know that my best blogger pal Kellie at The Wholehearted Wardrobe is on board, and I can’t wait to see what this challenge is like for her and for all the others who plan to take part! I think the “official” sign-up period on Fashion for Good’s account is over, but really all you need to do to participate is follow the rules and not buy any new clothes for three months. No Instagrams required! (If you want to do the Instagram thing, though, you can find us hanging out on the #slowfashionsummer tag!)
Are you signing up for #slowfashionsummer?