Posted on: January 30, 2022 Posted by: Ariel Tattum Comments: 0

When it comes to sustainability, you likely know the drill already—you’ve seen the documentaries, you’ve heard about the 30 Wears Test, you have perhaps even resolved to only shop sustainable brands in a spurt of bravado at New Year’s Eve. However, the brisk carousel of fast fashion trends takes no prisoners, trodding over many a well-intentioned resolution along the way. For those looking to reclaim their wardrobes from the dizzying, impulse-fuelled acquisition of the newest must-have trends, the key lies in equating your wardrobe with an investment portfolio: you want to sidestep the flash windfalls and have your money on the long haul. To avoid getting caught in the undercurrent of trends, we looked to some of the rising advocates in the world of sustainability for pointers, and here’s what we learned. 

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“Rejecting trends can be intimidating, but effective for shopping sustainably”: Tanya Ravichandran

Gen Z may have gotten a bad rap for its fixation with fast fashion, but the 20-year-old sustainable stylist is here to reverse the tide. Having effectively dialled down her consumption patterns—”I haven’t thrown out or donated a piece of clothing in years”—she shares her best advice for untethering your wardrobe from the fast-paced cycle of trends.

On the pressure to conform to trends:

“In my earlier years, I did not have as much self-confidence in myself, so I wanted to dress in a way that conformed to the people and media around me. Looking back, I believe this stems from wanting external approval from the world around you—dressing in a particular trend means wearing clothes that are seen as attractive by a larger audience at the time.”

On breaking free from the cycle of trends:

“My lightbulb moment was watching my favourite content creator, Mandy Lee’s videos on how to find your personal style for shopping sustainably. Seeing a particular look plastered all over our social media feeds means that trends do inevitably influence our style. But, with proper education, we can learn to reject some and accept others that align with our personal style. The litmus test is asking yourself if the trend aligns with your everyday wardrobe choices—if not, it is something you should reject.” 

On the mindset blocks holding people back from shopping sustainably:

“Rejecting trends is intimidating and scary—it is hard to battle the idea that you do not need to wear something trendy to be accepted in society. It can feel like a mighty leap and I have personally observed a much higher percentage of hate comments once I started opting for outfits that reflected my personal style. But it pays to bear in mind that the rejection of trends and finding your personal style is one of the most effective ways to promote sustainability in your everyday wardrobe.”

On building a seasonless wardrobe: 

“Layers are a fun way to add dimension to your personal style. However, I often hear from friends that they don’t have an idea on how to style something with pieces they already own and end up buying more pieces to match that one item. It pays to note that this is neither seasonless nor sustainable shopping. When purchasing a piece, it is essential to ask yourself if the item can pair well with the items you already own, not ones you plan on owning, as this will truly curate a timeless wardrobe.”

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“Timelessness doesn’t mean a singular, monotonous aesthetic—it needs to be developed on a personal level”: Aditi Mayer

All of 25 years, and the ethical fashion blogger has been channelling her efforts into expanding the purview of sustainable fashion to craft an intersectional movement. With a personal style that is framed by pieces highlighting South Asian artisans and crafts, she talks to us about moving beyond mannequins for sartorial cues. 

On the pressure to conform to trends: 

“We’ve all been indoctrinated into a dominant culture where trend cycles dictate the way we consume fashion. In many ways, fashion allows us to feel a sense of acceptance to the status quo, and many of us grew up in environments where abiding by trends gave us a sense of acceptance. However, the short-lived life cycle of trends is merely a phenomenon that feeds mass consumption at an accelerated pace.”

On breaking free from the cycle of trends:

“Sustainable fashion, at its core, is an exercise in creativity, and this means developing a strong sense of personal style. I grew up thrifting rather than shopping at fast fashion stores, and this helped me look beyond mannequins for cues on trends to follow. Instead, I became more focused on looking for pieces that looked timeless in nature or aligned with the pieces in my closet.” 

On building a timeless wardrobe:

“It’s important to note that timelessness doesn’t mean a singular aesthetic—a white button-down shirt and jeans, although those are great pieces. Timelessness is defined on a personal level, so instead of recommending certain types of pieces, I like to post a set of questions: where do you live, and how does the weather of that region inform the types of pieces you’ll be wearing on a day-to-day basis? What textiles or materials are best for your lifestyle? Think about the type of colours you gravitate towards: is the piece something you can style easily with the pieces you wear and love the most?” 

On the mindset blocks holding people back from shopping sustainably:

“It’s an unfortunate truth that our relationship with fashion consumption can often be rooted in convenience or a fleeting dopamine hit. However, it’s important to shift our mindsets from quantity to quality. This translates into buying pieces we can see in our closets for years to come, re-orienting our understanding of a fair price and looking at the pieces we buy as an equation of longevity rather than the cheapest possible deal, because a poorly made shirt from a fast fashion brand at a throwaway price may not stand the test of time and durability.” 


https://www.vogue.in/fashion/content/3-south-asian-sustainability-advocates-on-how-to-build-a-timeless-wardrobe