Slow fashion tips that will help you create a more eco-friendly closet

Slow fashion tips that will help you create a more eco-friendly closet

Posted by Rose on 19th Mar 2024

What is slow fashion?

Slow fashion honors the relationship between the maker and the buyer, encourages you to bring mindfulness into how you acquire your clothes, and urges you to be a conscious consumer.

Be sure you know who makes your clothes

When you buy from a huge conglomerate like Zara or H&M, you might know what country your clothes are manufactured in, but that’s it. With a company like Sympatico; however, not only do you know who made your clothes, but we offer transparency about the entire supply chain. From where I source the hemp/Tencel blend we use for our line, to how the clothes are dyed, to which type of elastic I use, to what type of thread I use to assemble the clothes, it’s all clear.

Do you know what to look for when buying clothes? Trying to decide whether you want to buy a certain garment? When you’re in the process of shopping for clothing, be sure to do the following.

Read labels, check fiber content and buy natural fibers

Is the clothing made of non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled fibers? Look for fabrics made of natural fibers like hemp, Tencel, linen, and silk.

Microplastics adversely affect you and the earth’s waterways. Avoid clothing that contains polyester, nylon, polyamide, and acrylic components because they contain microplastics.

Keep an eye out for ethical clothing companies that are clear about where they source fabric, where their line is manufactured, and how they treat their garment workers. Research the company online before buying from them.

Find clothing that will last

Unlike slow fashion apparel, fast fashion is designed with the expectation that it will fall apart after a few cycles of washing and wearing. So, when you’re shopping, look for pieces that fit your body well and are designed to last.

Is the quality of the stitching secure on the garment? Seek out clothing with stitches that are even, with no loose threads and neatly finished seams. Also look for adequate seam allowances, especially if you think you’ll want to alter the garment later.

Instead of trendy pieces, focus on classic shapes and styles, so you’ll be able to wear your new purchase for years to come.

When in doubt, pause

If you’re considering buying a new garment but you can’t decide if it’s right, give yourself some time to make a decision. Mindful buying means that you’re sure that this piece will be something you get use out of, not just an impulse buy.

Choose timeless styles

I bought a cotton twill skirt for work in years past. I wore it a lot, too. But now that I don’t work in an office anymore, I use it for gardening. It turns out it’s perfect for gardening because it features useful cargo pockets and it's also cooler than pants on a hot day.

Let me also tell you the story of a bulky but beautiful poncho I first got in the 80s. It was made of wool and almost as thick as a blanket. I wore it everywhere but after several years, I began to feel that it was too bulky. After it sat in my closet for a few years, I realized that it would make a fabulous unlined coat, so I cut it down.

Our line of sustainable women’s clothing is made of classic styles that stand the test of time.

womens hemp Tencel topswomens hemp Tencel skirtswomens hemp - Tencel pants

Extend the Life of Your Clothing

There are many ways to keep your favorite pieces working for you longer. These slow fashion tips will help you maintain the pieces you have.

Learn basic clothing repair skills

Watch YouTube videos to get the basics of clothing repair. Has a button popped off your top? Check the inside of your top, many times there’s an extra one sewn-in. Grab some thread, and sew that button back on.

If it’s an involved alteration that you don’t have the skill for, get a qualified tailor to take care of it. The key is to repair the garment so you can get more use out of it.

Modify your clothes to meet your current needs

A customer recently asked me to repurpose a pair of her Stovepipe Pants into cropped pants. Her lifestyle had changed and there was still plenty of wear left in the Stovepipes.

Her request was pretty much the antithesis of a fast-fashion approach in which consumers would toss the stovepipes and pick up some new cropped pants as part of a continual wardrobe acquisition-and-expansion program.

hemp - tencel tunic and cropped pants

Above: Trapeze Tunic and Cropped Pants

Overdye your clothes

If your garment is still comfy but looking a bit weathered, there are a number of home-use dyes that will do the job and get your garment looking like new without a lot of work.

A clothing love affair; wash less

Extend the life of your favorite outfit by washing it less. Before throwing it in the laundry hamper, give it a sniff test. And FYI, if it's a Sympatico piece, the hemp content in our fabric resists both microbes and mildew so you can go longer between launderings.

Consider your garment’s “afterlife”

Did the heading make you picture a rag floating up to heaven? When your garment reaches its inevitable end someday, will it have further use, go into the trash, or elsewhere?

I like to use clothes that are too beaten up to wear as rags to clean the house. But once they’re finally too beaten up to use as rags, where do they go?

Did you know hemp clothing is biodegradable? Hemp is amazingly durable., so it takes many, many wearings before it’s worn out irreparably. That’s why it’s been a popular choice throughout history. For example, in the past, miners’ pants were made from hemp. But even when hemp clothes have finally become too threadbare to wear, they’ll naturally biodegrade back into the earth.

Read tags when you’re shopping, and look for natural fibers that can biodegrade such as hemp, Tencel, ramie, or linen.

hemp skirt and top

Above: Swallowtail Top and Curved Skirt.

A mindful approach to slow fashion

I hope these slow fashion tips inspire you to take a mindful approach to curating your wardrobe, one that not only considers the impact on the planet but also fosters a deeper connection with the clothes you wear. By embracing slow fashion principles, you're not just making a personal style statement; you're advocating for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. Together, let's create more eco-friendly closets and pave the way for a brighter, greener future.

womens hemp Tencel topswomens hemp Tencel skirtswomens hemp - Tencel pants

Shop Sympatico’s line of eco-friendly women's fashion.