– And making changes that matter
Our clothes have the powerful ability to tell a story without saying one word. The way we dress can signal things about our personality, profession, political or religious beliefs, social class, the weather, where we are going, what we are doing and even what historical period we’re living in. The tale about the fast fashion industry, however, is alarmingly turning into a horror story.
Fast fashion can be described as inexpensive clothing that copies ideas from high fashion, designer brands, or popular culture, and turns them into mass-producible garments. Many retailers introduce a new line of products weekly to keep up with the changing trends. The cheap price, however, comes at a high cost.
According to the World Bank (2019), the fashion industry alone is responsible for 10% of carbon dioxide emissions and uses up to 1.5 trillion liters of clean water annually. To put the numbers into perspective the amount of water used to make one pair of jeans would take the average person up to 13 years to drink (Oxfam, 2019). The humanitarian cost is also substantial due to exploitative labor practices and dangerous working conditions that many people employed in factories producing fast fashion garments face.
Slowing down the fashion industry is a crucial step towards creating a more sustainable and ethical planet. We have to start changing the way we view trends and consume fashion. The companies producing fast fashion garments are obviously the ones that should be held accountable but grassroots level movements and individual changes can also have a large impact. So here are a few ways to curate a slow wardrobe and embrace sustainable fashion on a budget:
Shop your closet
The most sustainable fashion is the one that is already hanging in your closet. You can try to challenge yourselves by picking old clothes sitting in the back of your wardrobe and style them in a new way. This helps to increase the lifespan of your clothing pieces. A large proportion of clothes donated to charity shops ends up in landfills so by upcycling you can also reduce waste. For example, all you need for turning an old t-shirt into a crop top is a pair of scissors and creativity.
Shop second hand
Thrifting clothes and arranging clothing swaps with friends are great ways of shopping more sustainably on a budget. Luckily, there is no shortage of second-hand and vintage shops within a short radius of Lund. Here is a brief list of second-hand and vintage shops nearby:
Erikshjälpen – A large variety of products from clothes to furniture
Svalorna Second Hand – A wide collection of clothes, books, and furniture (only open on Saturdays)
Beyond Retro – A classic thrift shop with many hidden gems
Humana – Well-curated pieces, popular among younger people
Emmaus – Very central, a huge collection of clothes and tableware
Myrorna – Good retro pieces
Knigge Vintage – Really cozy and full of well-curated items in perfect condition
Carmen Copenhagen – A bit pricier designer items but perfect for accessories
Episode – Popular among young people, a huge collection of different styles
Wasteland – Original and redesigned vintage clothes
Time’s Up Vintage – Carefully picked long-lasting vintage and designer items
Malmö and Copenhagen also have a great variety of sustainable fashion stores. Being able to choose where you shop is a privilege and slow fashion tends to be more expensive but if you do have the possibility to invest in ethical and eco-friendly alternatives sustainable fashion brands are a great option. Also by choosing to buy fewer clothes, you may be able to save for sustainable fashion pieces. Here is a brief list of slow fashion stores near Lund.
Absmåland – Kind of like a small and sustainable Ikea that also has slow fashion pieces, very central
Helgrose Studio – Unisex clothing based in Malmö, organic and upcycled materials
Uma Bazaar – Cozy shop near the central station
EcoEgo – Sustainable everyday pieces
Res-Res – Great collection of different sustainable brands
Be Awear – Trendy sustainable pieces from organic materials
My Favourite Things – A well-curated collection of organic beauty products and fashion
Shop your style
Instead of hopping on all the newest fashion trends that flood your Instagram explore page, finding your own style and investing in long-lasting clothing pieces will produce more sustainable results. Trends come and go, so this way you can ensure that you will love your clothes even when the trend has passed. As Yves Saint Laurent popularly said: “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
Oxfam (2019). Are your jeans drinking up the world’s water? – Oxfam Online Shop Blog. [online] Available at: https://oxfamapps.org.uk/shop-blog/sustainable-fashion/post-about-sustainable-fashion/
World Bank. (2019). How Much Do Our Wardrobes Cost to the Environment? [online] Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2019/09/23/costo-moda-medio-ambiente