Trends and Slow Fashion: Do we REALLY want to buy that neon crop top?

photo courtesy of anywayawyna.blogspot.com

Whether you’re squeezing through the racks at Forever 21 or watching the runways at fashion week, you’re guaranteed to see the “new.” And by new, I mean everything from a new style, new seasonal colors, to literally new, recently-manufactured clothing. With boutiques, department stores and designers debuting new fashions and doling out full stockrooms of new merchandise, many people are asking, are new trends worth it? A whole movement has the answer: no.  These people are participating in the Slow Fashion Movement, coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 according to Slow Fashioned, an online magazine dedicated to the movement.

Slow Fashion is all about sustainability, and all about being creative as well as aware when we shop for our clothing. It includes everything from buying secondhand, to buying clothes made from sustainable materials, to DIY projects. Some would even say that buying more quality products (which usually make a bigger dent in our pocketbooks) can be considered slow fashion, if they’re pieces that you’ll wear—and love—for longer than the average life span of a shirt from Forever 21. The purpose here is to slow down the use of our limited resources and lead a more sustainable fashion life.

Now when I first heard about this movement I immediately cleaned out my closet. Completely motivated by a rush of guilt from knowing how often I shop (at Forever 21, no less) and how much I have sitting in my closet untouched, I decided it would be completely worth finding out what I really have in my wardrobe. Three hours and two garbage bags of clothes to donate later, I was horrified. Besides the endless number of little black dresses (I’m horribly boring), I had 11 PENCIL SKIRTS. Who, in their right mind, would need 11 pencil skirts?

Me, apparently. But that’s besides the point. When looking through the bags of things I was getting rid of, I found every horrible trend that was ever thrown at me in the past three years. Things with gaudy sequins, things with absolutely no shape, things with holes where there shouldn’t be. When I got dressed to go out that night I put on a pair of jeans, some black pumps and a t-shirt. A pretty typical outfit of mine, and total proof that those new trends don’t always last, and that we can still be fashionable while wearing clothing bought last year.

Now, does that mean I won’t whip out a neon, off-the-shoulder crop top with a tribal print to go with my classic jeans and pumps? Not necessarily, but I’m definitely unsubscribing from Forever 21′s email alerts, and I’ll absolutely be keeping slow fashion on my radar.

If you’d like to learn more about Slow Fashion, visit the online magazine Slow Fashioned, and keep coming back here for more—I’m not done delving into this one!


- Ashley