3 tips to achieve unique and sustainable style in the world of fast fashion:
1. Don't shop where everyone else shops
If you arrive at your local mall and see a line of people waiting to go into a store, my instinct would be to avoid it at all costs. Although clearly the store is popular among the majority, it wont give you anything truly unique. If you want your style to stand out you have to work a little harder. This can mean saying goodbye to your local mall, unless you need some basic pieces to sustain your closet.
In order to find truly unique designs you have to search your local and national designers. The world is full of fresh face designers with new ideas and individual design. Social media can be a very efficient tool to search for local design and you may be surprised to find your newest favorite designer.
When purchasing from local designers, not only do you have the opportunity to own one of one pieces, you also support your local creatives. Plus when your clothes have an interesting background story there is more to say about your outfit and style. Everyone knows that when you have interesting style people will constantly be asking you where you purchased your clothes and accessories.
Instead of responding to those inquiries with “from the local fast fashion store”, you can introduce people to new designers and new styles or you can keep your fashion secrets to yourself to avoid copy cats..the choice is yours. Another option is if you’re really creative you can always opt for creating your own clothes as well. Creating your own clothes is an extremely sustainable option because you only use the exact amount of fabric needed for your body and you can choose sustainable textiles. If you don't know where to start, a quick internet search will lead you to various patterns for clothes and they can also be found at your local fabric stores. Creating a unique style can truly be in your hands with a little effort and originality .
2. Experiment with your style
Be gone with the phrase “I can’t pull this off”. Never forget that the only person who defines your style is YOU. If your instant reaction when you see a top is “thats not me, but I like it”. Take a moment to think why is it not you?
If it's something you are not comfortable in then you're making the right choice by avoiding it, but if it's a piece that is out of your normal routine...maybe you just need to experiment. Taking risks with clothes can mean many things, it could mean introducing a bright color in your usual black routine or it could mean showing more skin, or it could mean a new trend that you’ve never worn before.
At the end of the day whatever you choose to wear is completely in your control, nobody else can define your style. If today your style is rocking a bucket hat, nobody can tell you that's not you. The moment you step out and own your look it instantly becomes your style. Remember the key to anyone's style is confidence and comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable in a certain piece it will show. So taking risks doesn’t necessarily mean going out of your comfort zone, but allowing yourself to experiment with what interests you.
Often we see clothes on models or on hangers and we can’t always envision ourselves in that outfit. I am a firm believer in trying on anything that sparks your interest. Take the risk first in front of a mirror and see how you feel. Do you love it even though it's something you’ve never worn before? Congrats, you just expanded your style!
Every expansion or any limitation you put on your style is completely up to you. You are in control of what you can or cannot pull off. Your style is in your hands only.
3. Not every trend has to be followed
The seasonal, monthly, and sometimes even weekly updates of trends is a major cause of the mass overconsumption and waste of clothes in our society. These continuous updates of trends are called micro trends and these types of trending clothes are often harmful to our consumption habits.
When a micro trend hits stores you may be instantly inclined to have it, but the key to sustainable style is purchasing atemporal clothes. Micro trends are the total antithesis of sustainable style. The trending printed pants of the moment may seem chic and appealing now, but within a few months or even a year do you see yourself realistically including it in your outfits?
If the answer is yes, then go ahead include it in your closet, but make sure you have various outfits in mind for that piece and most importantly take good care of the piece so it lasts a lifetime. However, if the micro trend is only appealing for the season it may not be the best thought out item for your atemporal closet. Trends are inseparable from the world of fashion, but so are staple basic pieces that will never not be in trend. The basics of your closet are vital for your personal style and should be made with excellent quality to allow you to use it as many times as possible.
These are just some basic guidelines for creating your own original style while remaining sustainable. How will you start?