Get dressed consciously
(Ir) Responsibility of garment industry

Get dressed consciously

Do you have an impression sometimes that the pace of life is overwhelming these days? It seems so to me, and something tells me that I am not the only one feeling this way, that modern race in almost every area of our life starts to be too tiring for us. After years of following fast pace, we want to slow down in the end. Over the years, fascinated with everything that is FAST, now we begin to pant. There is no doubt that this pace is killing us. Hence, no wonder to see so many SLOW-type initiatives (i.e.food, fashion), getting more and more public attention, as well as urban movements, working on creating a brand new quality of life in the cities and organizations that focus on the fully conscious life experiencing. Year after year, more and more people discover that life without values is meaningless, and they cherish quality of life over quantity. The minimalism and simplicity start to be valued most these days.

Fashion industry was well functioning in the FAST mainstream for many years. I am very happy to see the significant activation of the consumers who not only oppose to unethical garment production, but also look for other, more unique ways to deal with fashion. These are the people who – even in this dimension – need to slow down, become more conscious in buying and want to support local manufacturers.

Responsible fashion movement is rather new and therefore, there are lots of ideas on what responsible fashion should be like, or how to wear in a fair way. It is really difficult to clearly define today what exactly responsible fashion is. The new trend is that we are looking for good solutions and it’s important that we start to think about it. There are also groups of individuals, organizations, scientists, bloggers across the world who have already initiated discussion on this topic. In Poland itself, we can mention the Altmoda, kupujodpowiedzialnie.pl, Fashion Revolution movement, Clean Clothes Poland organization, but also internet blogs such as Simplicite or Style Digger. For each and every of us ethics in fashion can manifest itself in different dimensions. For some, the main focus is given to animals & environment protection or decent working conditions for those producing our clothes, for others it is just the way to simplify and minimize the wardrobe or supporting local designers and manufacturers. However, there is one crucial thing linked to conscious dressing – a feeling that we are not acting against anyone’s well-being, and giving the fashion the face of real, individual manufacturers (eg. craftsmen), but also quality.

Personally, I’ve never had the need to wear something that is “fashionable” at a time. Usually, I treat very carefully and with some distance  the new ‘ must have’s ’, especially those entering the streets fast and in huge amount. I try to intentionally compose my wardrobe, which helps me to avoid unused piles of clothes bought randomly. I tend to have things that I like to wear, and which fit me in colour, and that I can easily combine together.

Of course, like most women from time to time I say “I have nothing to wear!”, but at the same time I’m perfectly sure that buying lots of incidental clothes wouldn’t change anything for better. Probably one thing would change … the frustration level could be higher and stronger 🙂

Dressing up with care requires having healthy distance to fashion industry in general and its actual trends. This requires change of perspective and most probably existing habits modification, but it gives you comfort, satisfaction and a sense of control over what you wear.

When following the SLOW concept, or the idea of careful and conscious wearing, it is worth knowing what figure type we have, what colours we like most and what types of looks we tend to prefer. It is then much easier to replace the purchasing chaos with well-considered choices.

Honestly, I am not much convinced about colour trends promoted during each season. I believe that each of us has specific colours and its shades that fit us best. Knowing what “your” colours are, reduces hesitation during decision-making process, and secondly simplify the process of combining the clothes that we already have at home. So the best is to buy/invest in colours that match your type. Such clothes will always suit you, no matter what the current trend is. 

It is widely known that the mass and cheap production has blotted our need to be surrounded by high quality products. In my opinion however, it is worth looking for and investing in quality clothes, made of good fabric and sewn carefully. I have such clothes that I have worn for several years now and nothing’s happened to them.

So, I think it’s worth buying interesting and high-quality clothes and accessories from local designers and craftsmen – it’s all about reducing the supply chain process and buying directly from the manufacturers. Their main feature is surely creation with passion and desire to make things as good as they can. Additionally, they do not categorize the customers for better or worse – those from larger or smaller towns, those from Western Europe or Central-Eastern Europe. It’s highly not market-oriented :), but it is fair as the quality of their products are the same for everyone.

It is also worth checking if there is any tailor workshop in your city, where you could ask for sewing custom-made skirt or any other piece of clothing. Observing nowadays, how popularity of sewing classes is growing in many cities, I’m sure the tailor profession (forgotten for years) will become very popular again quite soon. It is of course highly recommended to sew on your own, although I do not have much to say in this field yet, as my adventure with sewing has begun quite recently.

Our mothers and grandmothers sewed their clothes by themselves during communist times, as they simply had no other choice. And what is worth mentioning, they often well remember dresses, skirts and blouses they made in the past. This is because this process required the full involvement of time, thought and of course finding the right fabrics. Today, in the Fast Fashion era we tend to skip our focus from deatails. We treat clothes as temporary and change it each season. And I think we should deal with it differently.

Another method well-suited in Slow Fashion trend, becoming quite popular, is clothes swapping. The idea is really cool, and many women choose it to refresh their wardrobe. But I must admit that I am not fully convinced about it. I try to buy clothes carefully, as I stated before, and so I don’t have such things I would like to get rid of easily.

Another thing that becomes important is cosmetics. Conscious wearing is also fair treatment of yourself. Therefore, I read cosmetic labels very carefully as well. Fortunately, there are more & more cosmetic companies on the market that focus on sustainable production, and using natural ingredients.

Some might wonder why we make such a fuss about just ordinary clothes. But the whole thing is about making your clothes ‘something’ and special… of course in its positive meaning.

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