After sharing my autumn key pieces with you last week, I wanted to put together a post on how I put together my list of key items. It definitely took me a little trial and error. Since I started shopping with a better sense of what my wardrobe needs, it definitely got easier though. I hope this helps you to find new items you love and reduce the clutter in your wardrobe!
This is the inspiration part of finding new key pieces, so naturally the first step in the key piece journey. If you haven’t already, start putting together Pinterest boards with outfit inspiration. I have one for autumn/winter, one for spring/summer and one that fits all seasons. Ones you pinned enough pictures on there, you’re very likely going to see a pattern. What kind of outfits are you bookmarking again and again? Why do you like them? For example, if you find yourself pinning pictures of mom jeans again and again and you don’t own any – maybe it’s time to start looking for great ethical mom jeans.
Before looking for new key pieces to buy, first look at what you already own and love. What do you wear over and over again? What’s the cut, what kind of material does the piece have? I’m not saying you should get something new exactly like it – that would kind of defy the meaning of a minimal wardrobe.
Instead, I believe that it helps you to know what you feel great in. For example, if you really like wearing midi-dresses but you only own a floaty summer dress, maybe it’s time to invest in a winter midi-dress as well.
One of the things I hear most often when I tell people I only buy fair fashion is: „But it’s so expensive!“ And of course, that’s true. Fair fashion is more expensive than the high street. With good reason also: Clothes on the high street are only cheap because people get exploited producing them. Still, it’s not impossible to only buy fair fashion and still look fashionable. Even if you’re on a small budget.
Keeping a style board on Pinterest has been one of the methods that helped me most in figuring out what to shop for in the past years. Every time I see an outfit I like, I pin it to my board. Then, if I feel like I need new clothes, I look for pieces I’ve pinned over and over again. This way, I only buy items I’ve liked for some time and don’t spend money on clothes that aren’t even my style.
Most (fair fashion) brands have a weekly newsletter these days. They often put in amazing sales and coupon codes, so you can save money if you just wait for the right newsletter. Also, most brands offer a discount just for signing up for the newsletter, such an easy way to find some eco fashion on a budget.
Fair Fashion is more than just printed t-shirts and old-fashioned, ‚green‘ clothing. Last week I told you how and why I got started with fair fashion. I’m happy about my journey, but I also wish I had had more resources along the way. Gladly, more and more blogs and magazines are popping up lately – a development I’m really happy about. One of them is the new Fair Fashion Guide by FEMNET. It puts together (almost) everything you need to know about the fair fashion world and it’s also really pretty to look at – so many great pictures.
The other day, I had the chance to chat with Anna Neumann (Projektreferentin Bildungsarbeit an Hochschulen) from FEMNET. She told me all about the new fair fashion guide and why it’s actually easy to get started with fair fashion. Enjoy reading!
Our new Fair Fashion Guide shows how diverse and stylish fair fashion actually is. We’ve noticed time and time again, that people are actually very interested in sustainable production. They just don’t know how to get started. Our guide helps them find their way around the fair fashion world.
Furthermore, the fair fashion guide helps people who want to consume more consciously. People who want to buy less and take better care of the pieces they already own. They hopefully get some valuable tips. We really hope the guide helps people to value their clothing again. The production of new clothes wastes both natural resources and energy. As soon as we realize this, fair fashion becomes more than just a great idea – it becomes the only choice we have.
It’s Fashion Revolution Week! I wanted to take the chance and tell you guys a bit more about my journey with fair fashion. As you might remember, I started buying only fair clothing about 2.5 years ago, at the beginning of 2015. It’s been quite a learning curve so far and I found so many cool labels, ideas and initiatives along the way, so here goes!
+ Allow yourself to take the journey step by step. When I started shopping completely fair – not just a piece here and there – it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to look out for or where to find fair labels I liked. So I just started slowly by reading blogs dedicated to fair fashion and learning more about sustainable production, worker rights etc. One book that really helped me was „To Die For“ by Lucy Siegle. It’s a must read for everyone interested in fair fashion! I can also really recommend the documentary „The True Cost“ if you haven’t seen it yet.
+ There’s a lot more out there than you’d think. At the beginning, I thought the only fair labels out there were Hess Natur, People Tree and Armed Angels. How wrong I was! Just yesterday I chatted with a friend and she introduced me to two cool new labels I had never heard about. If you’re on the hunt for new pieces, I’d recommend checking out fair clothing boutiques and following the rabbit trail of new stock and young labels. In Germany there’s glore for example, in the UK Gather and See sells some amazing pieces.
+ You won’t spend more money. Of course, if you look at the prices of fair fashion, it’s more expensive than the high street (for a very good reason!). What this means though, is that you naturally won’t make as many impulse buys anymore. Yes, one shirt might cost a bit more, but you won’t have 10 low quality shirts that you bought on a whim and don’t even like anymore.
+ Second hand shopping can be fun too! I used to shy away from buying clothing second hand (too much of a hassle), but today I love it! Just take your time and remember that you can take pieces that don’t fit properly to the tailor! Second hand shopping also helps me when I miss my former favourite brands like Topshop, COS or even Zara – I’ll just search for their collections in my favourite second hand online shops!
+ The fair fashion community is incredibly friendly. If you’re just starting out, dare and reach out to people who are further along on the journey than you. I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t eager to help yet!
All in all, I haven’t regretted going fair fashion for one minute. If you want to give it a try, just go ahead. Please ask any questions you might have in the comments and I’ll try to help and answer them. Happy Fashion Revolution Friday!
PS: If you don’t know what Fashion Revolution Week means: In the week around the 24 April, people all over the world think of the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh. Over 1.000 people died working at a clothing factory with horrific working conditions. Since then, every year we’ve been asking brands: Who made my clothes? It’s a really great initiative, you should definitely check it out!
Fair fashion is not only about buying products that are made in fair and sustainable way, but also about taking care of the items you already own. This way they will look nicer longer, you can wear them for a longer time and you won’t have to throw them away too soon. Sounds logical, right? I think so, so I want to start a small ’series‘ of how to best take care of your clothes, your shoes, your handbags (etc). I’m not an expert by far, so if you have any more tips please let me know :) I’m kicking of this series by sharing my favourite ways to take care of my shoes. I must admit – for a very long time I have neglected cleaning my shoes and what’s even worse – I just bought cheap shoes at H&M or Zara that I threw away after one season. The epitome of fast fashion. I’m trying to be better now – I’m not buying cheap shoes anymore and I’m trying to clean my shoes on a regular basis. Since I was absolutely clueless how to do this when I started, here are my (and my grandma’s) most important tips:
1 | Go to a professional to fix your broken shoes. I had a pair of brogues with missing heels I really liked and it just cost 10 € to repair them and took two days. Cheaper, more sustainable and easier than buying new!
2 | Use shoe stretchers, especially on leather shoes. Wooden ones at best.
3 | Only wear your leather shoes every second day. They need that break because they store the moisture of your feet (even if you don’t necessarily sweat much).
4 | Use a shoehorn when putting on your shoes. Yes, even though you’re not that old yet ;)
5 | Buy shoes that actually fit. Yes, the smaller size might be almost okay, but your feet and shoes won’t thank you for sizing down.
6 | Don’t put your shoes next to the heater if they got wet. Give them time to dry completely, otherwise the leather will crack.
7 | Clean the shoes you’ve worn about every two weeks. Make sure the products you use are right for the material of your shoes!
Step 1 | Brush your shoes off with a stiff brush.
Step 2 | Use a soft cloth and leather soap to clean your shoes of any dirt.
Step 3 | Use another soft cloth to put on shoe cream and/or shoe wax. I don’t want to own millions of different colours of shoe cream so I always use the transparent kind, but you can go for different colours as well.
Step 4 | Finish with a polishing cloth and your shoes will look as good as new!
And that’s it! Easy as that – and you will have fun with your pretty shoes for so much longer :)