How to Break Up with Fast Fashion: 10 ways to rekindle the spark with your wardrobe
Journalist Lauren Bravo loves clothes more than anything, but she's called time on her affair with fast fashion in search of a slower, saner way of dressing.
Her latest book, How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, will help you to change your mindset, fall back in love with your wardrobe and embrace more sustainable ways of shopping - from the clothes swap to the charity shop.
Full of refreshing honesty and realistic advice, Lauren will inspire you to repair, recycle and give your unloved items a new lease of life without sacrificing your style.
Read an extract from How To Break Up With Fast Fashion below.
HOW TO NOT HATE ALL YOUR CLOTHES
Once you’ve accepted that you do have something to wear, the next challenge is feeling enthusiastic about those options.
Storing and caring for your clothes properly can make a big difference when it comes to not hating everything you own, but even then it’s hard to fight habituation.
‘Once you’ve been exposed to something novel a few times, you get bored of it. And that happens with clothing,’ explains Dr Terrelonge.‘You go into a shop and buy a top, thinking, “It’s the greatest thing, I have to have it, I love it . . .” Then you buy it, you wear it a few times maybe, you put it in the wardrobe, and months later you’ve forgotten about that thing you so had to have.’
We’ve internalised that need for novelty, and the stats speak for themselves: reportedly 79 per cent of women are at their happiest or most confident when wearing something new, while 52 per cent feel lacklustre or less confident when wearing something old. I get this. Going back through old clothes can feel like browsing through former versions of yourself, with all their troubles and triumphs and ill-advised haircuts. Even if they’re not getting physically worn out, we still tend to see them as diminishing over time; their power to make us feel good getting weaker with each passing month that they stay in our wardrobe, while the best option always exists outside in the world of the new. Fashion likes it this way. It keeps us buying more, after all.
But if the most sustainable item of clothing is the one we already own, then appreciating and wearing those clothes is one of the most powerful differences we can make.
10 ways to rekindle the spark
It’s always been you, baby.
1. Light candles
Candles, as we all know, are the answer to every single modern problem besides ‘I spent all my money on candles’. They will create the perfect atmosphere in which to be seduced by your old clothes, plus the dim lighting means you’re less likely to notice the moth holes.
2. Put on some mood music
Are there songs that remind you of your clothes? Why not make them a playlist? For example: ‘Raspberry Beret’ by Prince, or ‘Return of the Mack’ by Mark Morrison.
3. Treat them to a pampering session
Why not try washing your clothes, tenderly, by hand? Or, actually iron them for once (steamy!). Finally sew on that missing button you’ve had in your pocket for a year and a half. They deserve it!
4. Reminisce about good times
Remember when you were first together? Wasn’t it great? Weren’t you both so young and fun? Look back through old photos of the two ofyou together, and focus on the reasons you first fell in love. Try not to slip into a pit of post-hoc hair- cut regret. It’s not about that right now.
5. Spend some quality time together
Plan a fun trip, just you and them. The top that seemed so boring at home might look very different paired with, say, the hills of Tuscany or the giant walrus at the Horniman Museum.
6. Take them dancing
Spend an evening grinding up against them in a basement salsa club and you might find you feel sparkier. Literally, in the case of many synthetic fibres.
7. Spice things up
Try surprising your clothes by introducing a new belt or a pair of statement earrings into the bedroom. The safe word is ‘Oliver Bonas’.
8. Share your fantasies
Perhaps you’ve always had a secret desire to wear cheese- cloth. Maybe your clothes have always secretly longed to belong to someone who doesn’t use their sleeve to mop up coffee spills. Indulging in these harmless fantasies together is a great way to recapture the magic.
9. Roleplay as strangers
Leave your clothes in a public place, such as at a bar or on a park bench, and pretend you are stumbling across them for the first time. You’ll be amazed how much more exciting you find them! And if you have to tussle with a dog to get them back, even better.
10. Lend them to a friend
A little jealousy can be a powerful tool, so why not let a friend borrow your clothes? See how good they look rubbing up against someone else, and you might just find you want them back.
- How to Break Up with Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo (Headline Home, £12.99), is out now.