Realising we don’t need to fall for fast fashion’s lower quality, one-season specials can be liberating for us as consumers, as much as it can liberate the strain on Earth’s natural resources and the workers who are being exploited by fast-fashion’s business model.
(A good point of entry into exposing oneself to the ills of fast-fashion is to watch the documentary The True Cost. Also check out practical tips through my series of earlier related articles in ChicVegan’s archives.)
Thankfully, along with veganism often comes some awareness around global environmental and human rights issues. I believe this makes it a little easier for those parents and children, with animal welfare a priority in mind, to then holistically expand their consciousness around these pressing issues.
Certainly in our own home this consciousness goes a long way in fostering a more balanced view on how my tween and teen daughters interact with fashion.
Becoming more mindful is perhaps not where teenagers naturally find themselves as they develop their identity and their peer groups become ever more influential. Yet arguably, it’s in this early phase of life where the concept of mindfulness can best and, very beneficially, be introduced.
Here are my 7 tools to embrace slow fashion:
- Sewing & pattern making classes: Not only is this a fun way for teens to take better care of what they have, in being able to do repairs, but they can then also create unique fashion pieces. Who knows, skills like these could even transition them into ‘Sewpreneur’ – creating an income from one’s craft
- Read & learn: Slow Fashion; Aesthetics Meets Ethics. This illuminating and highly-visual new book is ready to inspire your teen about the ins and outs of today’s growing ethical fashion movement
- Encourage mindfulness: Whether it’s yoga, meditation or journaling, these two books will set young adults on their way to grasping these and other mindful practices. The Secret to Teen Power and The Mindful Teen
- Find ‘new kids’ on the block: Vegan subscription boxes can offer a great way to sample products from conscious brands. Not just restricted to fashion, but cosmetics, self-care products and household items can broaden a family’s awareness of other lifestyle product choices. Check out Petit Vour Beauty Box, Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, and The Honest Company subscription
- Speak up: Animal leather, for instance, is still so revered, yet your teen is sure to get a kick out of going against convention by asking for animal-free leather. Sales assistance and retail managers need to hear of consumers’ feedback and preferences. We create the demand!
- Vintage, thrift and consignment: Remember, high quality used-fashion pieces are built to last and wear longer than fast-fashion pieces. Vintage boutiques often source their merchandise from swap meets, vintage fairs, estate sales or flea markets. Thrift and charity stores sell used clothes that were donated by individuals, while consignment shops are places where individuals can sell their used clothing through a dealer. Get to know and support your local stores
- Take a pledge: It’s fun to take and see a pledge through. The Slowed Fashioned Pledge encourages us as consumers to reduce, reuse, and recycle by joining an online community of supporters to the slow fashion movement. There’s also The Shop Drop Challenge, an annual January pledge not to buy any new clothes for 30 days, choosing like-new consignment, thrifted and swapped fashion instead.
Today’s low-priced globally produced fashion from the mainstream fashion industry relies on our overconsumption. Yet it’s our constant wanting that creates many hidden price tags: personal unfulfillment, depletion of Mother Nature’s limited resources and exploitation of workers.
Let’s do our part, while teaching our kids, to alleviate pressure on our resources by supporting slow fashion that sustains a healthier lifestyle for all.