Reflecting on My Sustainable Fashion Journey – What I’ve Learned and Things to Change in 2018

Sustainable fashion life is harder than I thought…

…It turns out I do in fact buy clothes

Back in February, I wrote this post about how I was beginning my sustainable fashion journey and changing my wardrobe for the better. I also said that I wasn’t much of a shopper. I’ve now learned that this is untrue haha. That being said, I’ve learned a lot about the fashion industry, shopping sustainably, and even my own personal style. Since the year is almost out I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on my first “year” of sustainable shopping and share my resolutions for the next one!

Reviewing my 2017 Sustainable Fashion Journey

Let’s get into it! I’m comparing what I actually did this year to what I said I would do (sustainable fashion wise) back in February!

  • Keeping what I have –

    • What I said: ” So TollyDollyPosh made a super good point when she said the first step isn’t to throw or give away all of the clothes in your current wardrobe. I think when people first decide to make a lifestyle change they want to completely overhaul their current ways of living, however, the most ethical supply of clothes we have are the ones we already own!”
    • What I did: Despite moving, I have managed to keep a good number of my clothes in rotation!
    • Grade: A
    • Takeaways: Buy clothes you love, that are high quality, and maybe are stretchy haha. I have been a variety of sizes this year but my Monsoon leggings more or less withstood all of my abuse.
  • Wearing what I have creatively –

    • What I said: “Sometimes I look into my closet and I see nothing, everything is suddenly ugly or miraculously doesn’t fit, know the feeling? To combat this, I’m going to really step out of my shell and put together outfits that perhaps I wouldn’t have worn before.”
    • What I did: I actually did this. I’ve worn shirts backwards or combined prints in different ways; I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone!
    • Grade: A
    • Takeaways: Take a risk and just do you. You’ll be amazed at the outfit combinations you can come up with:)
  • Upcycling –

    • What I said: “With clothes that I can’t possibly combine with anything, I’m going to get my creativity on and re-design them! I’m talking cutting, sewing, and combining clothes that we all know I won’t wear again into something new.”
    • What I did: I’ve been doing this too. Wow, I’m on a roll ;). The knees of my favourite Dorothy Perkins jeans were becoming way too loose so instead of tossing them, I cut the knees for a trendy ripped jean look.
    • Grade: A
    • Takeaways: Scissors, a needle, and thread are seriously anyone’s best friend! Check out my Pinterest board for DIY clothing ideas
My 2018 Good Fashion Resolution
  • Thinking before I buy –

    • What I said: “Do I need it? Will I wear it more than once? Will it last?”
    • What I did: I’m afraid my A’s stop here haha. Whilst I have significantly reduced my shopping at fast fashion retailers, I have instead developed a love for thrift stores.
    • Grade: B-  not bad but I could do better!
    • Takeaways: Just because it is second-hand doesn’t mean we can shop en-masse or without regard :(. Although shopping second-hand keeps clothing out of landfills, it can still contribute to clothes ultimately ending up there.
  • Shopping from ethical fashion brands or second-hand–

    • What I said: “Guys, ethical fashion brands have evolved from hemp t-shirts and ugly slippers, now there are brands like Reformation and Zady, who are making some really cute clothes. Secondly, keeping clothes in rotation (and out of landfills) for as long as possible is better for the environment and I think, reduces some of the pressure on manufacturing new clothes.”
    • What I did: Please see above, haha. I certainly took care of that second aspect. Although I did not shop from an ethical fashion brand this year, I do have a lot on my sustainable fashion wishlist and Pinterest. I also discovered Know the Origin, Veja, and Birdsong this year and they are definitely on my Brands to Watchlist!
    • Grade: C (I would have loved to support some sustainable fashion brands)
    • Takeaways: New brands are popping up every day and they’re doing some amazing things. It can be more expensive than fast fashion brands but I’m hoping to save up a little because it is worth the investment.
  • Swapping – 

    • What I said: “I mean if I have something cute and you have something cute, what’s the problem? This could be us…but you playing.”
    • What I did: I didn’t swap a darn thing. But I did give my friends shoes that I hardly wore so…
    • Grade: D
    • Takeaways: I don’t even know what I’ve learned from this. I haven’t thought about it at all this year. I’ve just discovered these two companies Swishing  and Walk in Wardrobe host clothes swapping events so hopefully, I  will be able to attend in 2018!
  • Asking #WhoMadeMyClothes

    • What I said: “I hope I won’t have to avoid my favourite fashion brands forever but until they start to make substantial changes to how they manufacture clothes, I’m out *In my best Dragon’s Den voice” Until such a time I will be asking #WhoMadeMyClothes”
    • What I did: I’m out! Well mostly, shoes have still been hard for me to replace but hopefully as sustainable fashion develops we can get there! Shout out to Adidas though for their collaboration with Parley, who is trying to reduce ocean plastic, to Gucci and Michael Kors for going fur-free, and to all of the other brands striving to make positive changes.

My Biggest Struggle?

Walking past my favourite high street stores and seeing all of the beautiful clothes they had in the windows. Like I said in this post about empathy and sustainable fashion, it’s not that I don’t like the clothes, I don’t like how people and resources are being treated. However, thrift stores, sustainable fashion brands, and a tight budget have certainly kept me in line. But if this you right now, I totally relate! I think the key is to stay true to your personal style, trends fade but you will always shine bright

2018 Goals:

This year I went to two sustainable fashion events and I hope next year to attend many more! I’ve put a calendar on the sidebar so that I can keep you dreamers updated on events you could attend. I’ve also started learning how to embroider and I feel like this may or may not change the game for me haha. My plans for 2018 are largely the same as 2017 but I hope to post more regularly and share more images of my outfits and life with you all!

Final Thoughts

What I said: “Of course, this is gonna be hard, but this is something I want to transition to throughout the year. You can expect more fashion-esq posts from me since I suppose I will venturing into ethical fashion blogger land. So yeah that’s one of my goals for 2017, what do you think? Is it something that you would do?”

What I say now: Okay, this isn’t as bad as I thought, sustainability is something that I want to continue transitioning into in other aspects of my life (gasp). You can expect more fashion-esq posts from me since I suppose I will venturing into fashion blogger land. So yeah that’s one of my goals for 2018.

What do you think? You know passing judgement is not how I get down so I would love to know your thoughts! How was your year in Sustainable Fashion? Leave a comment or connect on social media 

BTW, are you following me on social media? If not, why doe?
Twitter and IG: @heyamonaie

Follow my Sustainable Fashion Instagram: @hnbstyle

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