How To Quit Fast Fashion*

How To Quit Fast Fashion*
*Courtesy of Emma Mathews

Hi everyone,

What's new in your world?

A warm welcome to our new subscribers: Eugenia, Michael, Judy, Dennitza, Wei, Brenda, Nat, A.C., Armando and Sherri.

So you know what to expect with this newsletter: each Sunday I muse about a sustainability-related topic. Last Sunday we examined the origins of Fast Fashion, and today we're looking at some steps you can take to reduce the role fast fashion plays in your life (hopefully this is something you're keen to do!).

You can find our newsletter archive, here, with all previous editions.

You can't really go wrong with this mantra.

Last week I mentioned Emma Mathews' book: How To Quit Fast Fashion. Emma is the founder of Socko - a brand that produces delightfully comfortable, cute, and sustainably minded socks.

HTQFF (who knows, the acronym might catch on, I mean SATC isn't very user friendly either!) offers 100 tips for a sustainable wardrobe, and is divided into several sections:

- Rethinking your wardrobe
- Upcycling your clothes
- Staying on trend
- Shopping more efficiently
- Making clothes last

Here below I will share with you my favourite tip from each section, with kind permission from Emma (thanks Emma!).

The author herself: Emma Mathews. When you see this level of relaxed chic, you know you're in good hands.


Tip #5: Is it something I want to take into my future?

Particularly relevant for me, as I'm having a big spring clean out ahead of moving. This question is inspired by the "dressing for the job you want, not the job you have" approach. Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time? Does that person wear this skirt / those trousers / these shoes / that pair of earrings...? Keep or donate as appropriate*.

*"Donate" in this context means giving to friends, putting on OLIO, etc. As we saw in May, clothes donated to charity shops don't always end up where we think they will...

Tip #30: Embroider it.

Upcycling doesn't have to be all sequins and tie-dye. There are sweet and subtle ways to improve clothes that may be stained, have small holes, or are simply crying out for some new oomph. Think embroidery!

When Covid-19 first hit, I adapted LUXTRA's offering to include hand embroidered rainbow motifs on T-shirts and face masks. I always get a kick out of wearing my rainbow T-Shirt.

For embroidery newbies, check out this "embroidery 101" video to get you started.

LUXTRA's rainbow embroidered T Shirts and face masks. Should we bring the T Shirts back??


Tip #46: Focus on accessories

No surprises here that this is one of my favourite tips! Shoes, handbags and jewellery can take a simple outfit and really elevate the vibe. Equally, you can take a fancier ensemble and dress it down through more casual footwear - sneakers, for example. I see shoes, handbags and jewellery as real investments that you can keep for years (decades?). The cherry on top is that there's not really any size considerations, so you'll always fit into them. Excellennttttt.... ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

You see: wardrobe, transformed! Peony modelling the Nina mini handbag.
And yes, this is a (hopefully rare) case of shameless self promotion.

Tip #76: Shop independent

Emma reminds us that "when you shop from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance." I can tell you this is true! There are so many advantages to shopping small: you'll likely receive a level of personal service; the product will likely have been created by the designer themselves, or an artisan local to them; and you'll likely have a very unique piece! [I could go on....]

Tip #86: Cool your wash

Ok, so this is more of an eco-tip, but given the time in which we are living, I feel it's quite relevant. Emma says:

"Many people believe they won't get as effective a clean if they switch to a 30°C (85°F) wash. In actual fact, the power of the clean is only fractionally reduced while the shift from 40°C (105°F) to 30°C (85°F) can halve the energy used and therefore the cost."

Given skyrocketing energy bills, this tip might be of interest! I now wash all my clothes on cold, also find that with a cold wash, I can wash all my garments together (darks and lights, except of course for the items I know will bleed), so it means I halve the time and effort I spend on my laundry. Obviously caution is advised, but I find a good way to test if colours bleed is to hand wash them in cold water. If the colours don't run, then you should be good to go.

Tip courtesy of The Washington University in St. Louis, who use this image in student laundry rooms.

Voilà, voilà. I hope you've found something of interest in today's newsletter. Should you wish to learn the 95 remaining tips, Emma is kindly offering free UK postage on her book: use code LUXTRA at check out. And no, I don't receive a cut of any sales. I simply want to encourage people to think outside the box a little, when it comes to their wardrobes.

Happy embroidering, washing, and pondering,


LUXTRA Founder | Enthusiastic Embroiderer | Proud B-Corper

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