Slow Fashion October, Week 1: INTRODUCTIONS

Slow Fashion October, Week 1: INTRODUCTIONS

Today’s the official start of Slow Fashion October 2016, and I’m even more excited than I was last year. My closet and my thoughts have both evolved considerably over the past year, and I’ll be sharing about that in assorted ways throughout the month. But today I just want to get us going!

In my outline for the month, I set out for this first week to be about INTRODUCTIONS — of ourselves and ideas — whether you post once or many times, here and/or @slowfashionoctober, or on your own blog or Instagram feed:

Who are you, and what does slow fashion mean to you. What got you started thinking about it — people, books, films, etc. Are your concerns environmental, humanitarian, financial? Most important: How does your thinking factor into your life and closet. Also, any special plans or projects for Slotober, and what are you hoping to get out of it?

In the weeks ahead, we’ll delve into the environmental and humanitarian crises around fast fashion, how to do right by the clothes and materials in our possession, the joys and perils of handmade, and the challenge of getting to the bottom of where things really come from. But the overarching question for the moment is what are we even talking about when we talk about “slow fashion,” and why are we talking about it at all?

I don’t believe there is any one true definition of (or path toward) a slow fashion wardrobe. It can mean a million different things to a million different people. But I believe the core of it is simply mindfulness. Educating ourselves about the problems of fast fashion, then learning to ask ourselves about any garment we intend to make or buy, or otherwise acquire:

– How much do I know about where it came from and what it’s made of?
– And do I care about it enough to take responsibility for its existence on this planet?

There’s so much more I want to say about what slow fashion maybe is or isn’t, and if I try to pack any of it into this post, I’m aware that each sentence is really a post or day or week of its own. So I’m going to leave it there for the moment, because in my view that’s really the nut of the thing. Being mindful. Asking questions. Making conscious choices.


As far as why this squishy term has even come into existence, there is so much out there about what’s wrong with fast fashion — the human and environmental costs of our gluttony — that it’s hard to know where to begin. But if you haven’t seen them, I recommend these two for starters:

1) No one wants your old clothes — the best standalone article I’ve seen about the problems with the glut of clothing already on this planet.

2) Unravel — an incredibly thought-provoking short video about one shredding-recycling plant in India and the workers’ attempts to understand where all of these clothes are coming from.


The main thing I want to say at the outset about me personally and my outlook on all of this is that for me it’s a joyful thing, building a slow fashion wardrobe. It’s about appreciation, not deprivation. About the thrill of making my own clothes, supporting small businesses and contributing to the resurgence of the garment industry in the US in numerous ways. Does it mean the world to me that, in doing these things, I also avoid supporting slave labor and environmental waste as much as possible? Yes, it absolutely means the world to me. As I’m fond of saying, I want to feel good in my clothes — and that doesn’t just mean feeling cute. It means feeling proud of my part in them, and free of concern (again, “as much as possible”) that any humans were harmed in their making. It’s not easy, and it definitely is a slow process, but I find it rewarding beyond words.


So this a month to talk about the choices we all face. It’s a long road from first awareness of the issues to a slow fashion wardrobe (however we define it!), and we’re all at very different places on that road. So I’m asking again that everyone keep that in mind, as well. We have different resources and outlooks and skills and demands on our time. What’s possible for one person will not be for another, and nobody should feel judged — by themselves or anyone else in the conversation. Mindfulness above all as we head into a world-bending month of conversation, yeah?

So here we go! See you in the comments, on the @slowfashionoctober page, and as much as possible on the whole of the #slowfashionoctober feed*. If you post to your own blog throughout the month, please include a link to the Slow Fashion October outline, and feel free to leave a comment here with a link to your post so others can see!


*I know I said on IG before that we should use #slowfashionoctober2016 but I take it back. People will wind up using both and then nobody will know which one to pay the most attention to, and it will make my job harder. So let’s just stick with #slowfashionoctober.


PREVIOUSLY: Slow Fashion October 2016 (master plan)

74 thoughts on “Slow Fashion October, Week 1: INTRODUCTIONS

  1. Hi ! Happy to go on this way for a second year ! My name is Mathurine, I ‘m Breton living in France, I ‘m a mother of 4 adults ones, I swew,knit. I ‘m mostly a thinker and always happy to dream new paths to help each other to live a more mindfull life. I m not really interesting tout know more about how awfull the things can be in industry . We have no more time for that. And there are every where so beautiful things happen !

    • Hello, Karen (et al)! I devoured all e-content surrounding last year’s Slotober and am thrilled to be able to participate this year. The next few months will see major changes in my life, as I’m moving from DC to Tennessee (and a corporate office to a home one unbound by dress codes), so now is the perfect time to reset my approach to fashion and consumerism. (See also: Clean out my overstuffed closet and lighten my packing load.) I’ve been an avid knitter since 2005 and sewer since, um, February; between the two, my aim is to take a more hands-on and appreciative approach to my wardrobe.

      My inaugural post may be found here:

  2. Very timely! I’m sat in an airport, bored, and was considering buying a trenchcoat as a result. I’ve been searching for the right Autumn coat for years, and this particular one wasn’t it (didn’t even have closures…), but I was considering it as a result of boredom.
    Back to the questions though! :)
    I am Rachel, and I live with my husband in Scotland. To me, slow fashion means being mindful:- do I need it?, is it a fair price (in terms of labour & profits)?, will it last/is it well made (& therefore what is the net environmental impact over time)?, is it my style or a passing fancy (and therefore will I keep it for years)?
    I am an environmental consultant with a passion for expressing my style and creativity (I knit and sew) – it can be tricky to honour both! By Slotober’s close, I am hoping to have a better understanding of how I will navigate these passions going forwards. Sounds small, but it’s a challenge to me! :) I am also looking forward to learning from everyone. Thank you for setting it up!

  3. I admit that Slow Fashion is really a post-rationalization for me. It is a feel-good framework for my already obsessive making. I have always been drawn to many aspects of the fiber arts and handcrafting – aesthetic, therapeutic, practical, frugal. Decades later, I find the SF philosophy bubbling up in the makers’ community and it feels right. Sources of inspiration have been blogs, especially yours and for instance gridjunky, who uses a lot of recycled materials. The idea of creating rather than consuming, and one less garment being produced out there somewhere because I have not purchased it, is very rewarding.

  4. The movie The True Cost really got me started. And then I started see more in articles about slave labor, and the working conditions. The stores like H & M and the Gap that carry clothes just to last one season. Septembers cooler weather makes me shift my summer clothes to another closet and bring out the sweaters. I notice that my JJill did not hold up as well as the Eileen Fisher. You think you pay way more for Eileen Fisher but if you calculate the years and how many times you wear a garment you’re spending less. Thanks for doing this segment. It’s important for everyone to know who is making their clothes.

  5. Slow fashion to me means, don’t waste, how big does your wardrobe have to be, and make your own stuff if you can. Thanks, Karen, for your inspiration and information!

  6. I just stumbled upon slow fashion october on instagram and had to find out more because I have been thinking about these things a lot lately. My name is Elina and I am from Finland. I have recently (when I was pregnant and started my maternity leave so I had some time to kill) found knitting in a big way and i have also been contemplating sewing.

    I have been slowly working on a capsule wardrobe of sorts and would like to add some hand made items to it. Especially blogs like Into mind and Unfancy have inspired me on building a capsule wardrobe. Also I am lucky to have a mother who has always talked about the importance of buying good quality shoes and clothes so I haven’t had to start completely from scratch.

    At the moment it is important to get the best quality I can afford and buy things I actually need or absolutely love. Also ethical aspects are what i try to think about. We are a young family (husband, a one year old and a dog) and I am still studying so money plays a big part on what I buy or make. That doesn’t mean that I want to buy cheap and badly made stuff. My mom actually has said that ( I think it’s an old finnish saying) that a poor person can’t afford to buy cheap. Ofcourse kids clothes bring a new challenge to this. I try to find kids clothes from second hand shops, facebook selling groups etc. Some things I buy new if I can’t find what I need, but i try to get them from finnish brands.

    That’s surprisingly a lot of text I wrote here….Anyway, I am excited to see more on this slow fashion october!

  7. I’m a knitter and someone who has always loved “slow fashion,” though I guess my reasons have never been primarily philosophical.

    My main reason for enjoying slow fashion is simply that I just love it when things are made well, and you’ll never EVER get the same quality from big biz as you will from smaller, specialty craftspeople. I have very few pairs of shoes, for example, (and even fewer that were not hand-me-downs from my mother or grandmother), and they all have lasted years, some even decades. I wear them hard, so it’s not that I even take particularly good care of them (though I do use a polish/conditioner on the leather ones when they look bad). Over the years (this only happens once every few years, mind you) I’ve had friends and family call me crazy for spending $300+ on a pair…but the reality is that I spend way less on shoes than most women I know, I just buy them far less frequently. I would rather have one pair of $300+ shoes that I love for 5 (like my high-quality trainers bought from a specialty running store), 10 (like the leather pumps I bought for my honeymoon and still love, ten years later), or 15 years (like the open-toed shoes passed down from my mother that I always borrowed as a teen, that are actually on 16 years now), than twelve pairs that I got for $30 each from the bargain stores that don’t fit well and fall apart after a few months (or even a few wears). I never feel like I don’t have the right pair, though, because the ones I do have are so carefully chosen.

    I really see the benefit of this for me mentally, too. Have you ever noticed how really discouraging malls are for one’s body image? All those giant billboards with heavily processed photos of models whose bodies don’t even really exist as they are up there on the boards, the terrible lighting in the dressing rooms, the constant shift in what a particular size actually means (even within the same store)…it’s just a recipe for body image issues. For my own sake and my daughter’s I like to stay out of the malls as much as possible. What better remedy for that is there than buying things that last from smaller, higher-quality makers or hand-making them yourself??

  8. I run a textile/fiber art org ( and slow everything comes up often in our discussions, especially as choices are made in the tools we use from intense handwork to sewing machines to dyes and other processes. It’s a constant learning process to be mindful of what we do and who we support in the action of making.

    I’d like to point you to Sonya Phillip who has become a powerful voice for slow fashion in our circle. She started “100 Acts of Sewing” as an exercise for herself and that has led to workshops, presentations and patterns: She shares a lot of great resources on her Facebook page:

    I think she would be a great guest for you to have here on your blog. :)

    One of the things that I really like about her style and patterns is that they look good on any shape, and those of us who struggle with weight issues often have a hard time finding things that look good on us. Being able to alter or make clothing that is comfortable and fun while looking the best possible with whatever shape we have can also help with self-esteem issues and give a great sense of freedom.

  9. My name is Gray and I’m a clothesaholic. “No one wants your old clothes” brought me up short. I live in a world of overflowing closets full of clothes I don’t even like, in sizes I no longer fit. I’ve recently started culling and wardrobe planning. Your posts (and links) have both shamed and inspired me. I’m a novice knitter, scarves and the like, but your blog has motivated me to try new projects while practicing mindfulness.

  10. Pingback: Slow Fashion October. A Celebration of Slow Fashion Week 1 – Daydream Knits

  11. Hi Karen! I’m so excited to have found your blog only a few weeks ago! Just in time for Slow Fashion October. I’ve been knitting for about 7 years and cultivated my love of fashion and fiber while working at a yarn shop for three years. Now that I’ve moved, I design and knit a lot more on my own, but I still maintain the dozens of community connections I built in my college town. I’ve learned to spin yarn and have an infantile knowledge of sewing, but I hope to continue developing my own brand and designs while finding inspiration from creators who work sustainably and ethically. I am very excited to build an adult wardrobe (still have college t-shirts) that is not only mature and beautiful but also purchased responsibly. I look forward to this month so so much and can’t wait to see your daily prompts. My full introduction post is here:

  12. I started thinking about slow fashion while writing Knit Green. Thinking and writing about where all my textiles come from really left a lasting impression. I can’t say I have managed to make all my clothing, but I do now think carefully about the fiber content of everything I purchase and its environmental pros and cons. I try to knit nearly all our sweaters, hats, mitts, etc. I am trying to buy less. My kids’ clothes are nearly all second hand or hand me downs, and I do a lot of mending/patching. The cost of things, especially with the low CDN dollar, has also encouraged us to buy secondhand, make do and mend.

    I taught a non-wool spinning workshop today at a festival, and I asked if people in the class wore linen. Very few did, or even knew if they did…and I saw how far I had come. I know I wear a lot of linen in summer and why! It was a great reminder of how far I have come in learning about and embracing natural fibers…but it’s a journey. My closet is definitely not pared down yet!

      • Even the rest of us Canadians have to admit that Winnipeg (or “Winterpeg” my Manitoba-raised family members sometimes call it) gets darned cold in the winter. Linen just doesn’t cut it during the cold months. ;)

        • Yes, it is mighty cold here in the winter…and while it does get warm in the summer, it is nothing compared to VA, KY, or NC. We do not even have air conditioning, and for the most part, I do not need it. I do, however, think an awful lot about how my wardrobe’s natural fibers work in the serious weather we have, cold or hot! In really cold temps, wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca…those are my best friends. My linen all gets tucked away from November to May or so. :)

  13. Well, I can see that I am tired tonight and maybe did not make sense! At the Manitoba Fibre Festival today, in my class, we were experimenting with different fibers for spinning:ramie, tow flax, cotton, silk, etc. I was explaining where things came from and what attributes each fiber might have for a spinner used to focusing on wool…and frankly, as someone who grew up in Virginia and lived in North Carolina and Kentucky, too, I sort of assumed people would understand the inherent value of hemp and linen. It is a natural fiber, a gorgeous drape to the fabric, cool to wear in summer and extremely hard wearing. It grows more soft and silky with age and wear. It is environmentally friendly, for the most part, and has a lot going for it! Yet, many of my students did not know this info…and here where I live now in Winnipeg, I guess I forgot we do not have a lot of hot summer in any case! (Wool, silk, Qiviut, cashmere, these are “hot” natural fiber commodities in our -40 winters here, but ramie and flax are more exotic!)

    The first step to all this though is reading our clothing labels and knowing enough to understand what we are wearing and whether it fits our values…whether that focuses on waste reduction, avoidance of pesticides or chemical pollution, support of small local business,…the list goes on. So, I guess the first thing I learned to do is read the label, just like I might read a food ingredient list. Then I can choose to skip a petroleum-based synthetic fabric , or whatever else doesn’t appeal…I see myself growing as a consumer because I know what I have been purchasing, how it suits my needs and why. It is not a perfect exercise; I still own leggings with that lovely synthetic stretch :) but I am working on it…through a process that includes careful buying of mostly natural fibers, buying secondhand, making things myself and mending, etc.

  14. Hi, a little late… I love the idea of slow clothes. Was taught thrift by my parents and trying (but really failing) to live and consume consciously.
    The standalone article and Unravel film were excellent!
    Thank you for doing this and I will be studiously following your posts and all the comments.

  15. Hi, I’m Lissa – I’ve (slowly) connected with the Slow Fashion movement over the last few years, and wrote up my intro notes at Day One.

    Like other commenters, I’m interested in the sustainable/ethical sources of dressmaking fabrics and beginner patterns, and I look forward to seeing how the up-cyclers in this group do great things.

  16. Slow Fashion October is a month for me to learn about the different ideas/opinions on slow fashion. Reality is I will never be able make most of my clothes nor would I want to but it is definitely good to be less ignorant of the environmental impacts that my sometimes reckless consumption might bring.

  17. Hello everyone, i’m happy to take part for the second year. My thoughts have evolved too through the past year and i feel more “quiet” (not always easy to find the appropriate english word) about the question, as i’m more able to see how to break it into small steps, in order to actually do something without being overwhelmed by the depth of the thinking. I wrote a post on IG to introduce myself and the background of my relations to slow fashion. For me, this year, i think the starting point of my thinking and acting will be rather practical : i’ll start from our closet and our dressing needs and see what i can do to manage them in a mindful way. It will probably be materialized by actual wardrobe development projects that i’ll try to evaluate in the perspective of Slow fashion wondering how far my attempts increase a good thing or decrease a damaging issue (even at a small scale).

    Here is the link to my post on IG
    I hope i’ll be able to write on my blog through the month, but i’m not sure i’ll manage it. It might only be IG posts sharing.

    Thank you Karen for inspiring and feeding the movement, i have clearly started thinking about that question from your last year prompting. And it grew quietly all over the year and in my life.

  18. A few years ago I started working at a not-for-profit that does great work with disadvantaged groups in the community made possible from funds raised through the sale of donated secondhand goods, primarily clothing. It’s great that people donate their clothes – the proceeds make our work possible- BUT the sheer volume of it is overwhelming, it comes in never ending depressing waves and much of what comes in is sent for ‘export’. We sell this ‘export’ clothing on to contractors at 25c per kg.

    Seeing clothing reduced to a commodity sold by the kilogram has made me really rethink what I wear myself. I’ve already pared back to a practical capsule wardrobe but I want my clothing choices to be more meaningful and sustainable which is why I’m drawn to Slow Fashion October. I’d like to reconnect with the skills passed down from my mother and grandmother and create my own clothes, recycling fabrics and notions where I can, and start to build a wardrobe that reflects my own skills and values and is not measured in cents per kilogram.

  19. I’m so looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts this month! I never gave much thought to my clothing until I learned to knit them, and then I realized a) how much better care I take of my handmade items, b) how much more I love them, and c) how it shouldn’t be possible to buy a sweater for $10. I’m still new to the idea of slow, ethical fashion, so I’d like to take this month to think about my own wardrobe and how to utilize the clothing I already have. (I’d love handmade everything, but I don’t know how to sew–)
    I’ve written about Slow Fashion October on my blog where I also write about knitting in the small Japanese city I call my home.
    Thank you to Karen for running this month as well as your wonderful blog.

  20. I’m so looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts this month! I never thought that much about clothes until I learned to knit, and then I realized that a) I take much better care of my handmade items, b) I love my handmade items way more and c) it shouldn’t be possible to buy a sweater for $10. I’m still new to slow, ethical fashion, so I’d like to take this month to think about my own wardrobe and how I can utilize the items I already have (I’d love to have a completely handmade wardrobe, but I can’t sew–)
    I’ve written a bit of my thoughts here where I also blog about knitting in the small Japanese city I call home.
    Thank you to Karen for running this month and your wonderful blog.

  21. Finding out about Slotober here last year, and reading everything Felicia had to say about it at The Craft Sessions, brought a lot of the thoughts I had been having about my clothing/fabric/yarn choices into wonderful, sharp focus. It’s been an ongoing, organic process but I am finding it easier to juggle all the decisions and compromises that need to be made. I find there is so much pleasure and richness to be had in learning more about the origins and history of what I am choosing to include in my wardrobe and my life. My challenge this year is to enthuse my teenage girls, it’s hard for them to resist bright, disposable, cheap fashion (but they are learning to love a charity shop)!

    So I’m really looking forward to this month. Thanks for making it happen, Karen!

  22. Finding out about Slotober here last year, and reading everything Felicia had to say about it at The Craft Sessions, brought a lot of the thoughts I had been having about my clothing/fabric/yarn choices into wonderful, sharp focus. It’s been an ongoing, organic process but I am finding it easier to juggle all the decisions and compromises that need to be made. I find there is so much pleasure and richness to be had in learning more about the origins and history of what I am choosing to include in my wardrobe and my life. My challenge this year is to enthuse my teenage girls, it’s hard for them to resist bright, disposable, cheap fashion (but they are learning to love a charity shop)!

    So I’m really looking forward to this month. Thanks for making it happen, Karen!

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  24. Joining Slotober this year after passively watching, while very pregnant, last year. I’ve always knit and sewn, but time has become more sparse post-baby. I’m grappling with several issues that make Slow Fashion October particularly relevant for me right now: recalibrating my identity as a new mom (and how that is reflected sartorially) and reclaiming my sense of self; feeling lots of guilt about consumerism related to clothing myself and my child; the environmental impact of fast fashion and the fashion industry and how that relates to the world that I’m leaving for my child. Lots of big, heavy thoughts.

    I hope to carve out some time this month to meditate on these things – how can I make and repurpose and thrift the things we wear? How does my identity manifest in what I wear and how can I be more of a stakeholder in my personal style? How can I do all of this in a low-impact way?

    Thank you, Karen, for putting this together. I’ve had a long-neglected blog that is going to be fired up this month.

  25. Hi Karen! Thank you for this wonderfully inspiring initiative!

    I started to think about where my clothes come from some years ago and for a long time my major concern was the ethical treatment of the workforce.
    This was reinforced when I got my kids (now aged 6 and 3) : before buying something for them, I always ask myself if another child could have made it. But I find it’s not that easy to find out… And for kids clothes, I can’t afford spending too much money. Between friends and acquaintances, we frequently swap clothes when our children outgrow them (and once it’s given to another child, there is an understanding that the parents will again “make it turn” (does this make sense in English…? ) once their kids do not wear them anymore. I also started buying more and more second-hand, at least I’m not using more resources.

    As far as I am concerned, it is a different story… I’m very much an impulse-buyer, buying clothes when I’m upset/sad/hungry/whatever… ;-). I feel I do not had a very good sense of style and do not consider enough my wardrobe as a whole… which results in too many clothes not being worn…

    Recently, I started being more aware about the environmental aspect of the question as well.

    For me, this Sloctober will be mainly about educating myself, exploring new insights, and trying to get the most I can from my existing clothes.

    By the way, I wrote a little introcution to Sloctober in my blog (in French) and will regularly report on the topic throughout the month.

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  27. Slow fashion to me means, wear comfortable clothes only, keep in mind earth as well and donate clothes when not usable, Thanks,your inspiration and information!

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  31. Here’s my post about Slotober:

    I expect any feedback I get will be mixed.

    Karen, this series of posts is always so thought-provoking. I know that I wouldn’t even have written the above blog post without your prompts. I enjoyed thinking about these things last year, too. Thank you for encouraging this movement and encouraging us all to think harder not only about where our clothes come from, but where they go when we no longer wear them!

  32. Pingback: Slow Fashion October, Week One: Introductions | mythologie

  33. I’m so happy to have found my tribe. In my 59 years on the planet, I’ve gone from clothes obsessed in my teenage years, to sewing and knitting my entire wardrobe in my 20s, to a combination of buying and making in my 30s, to just buying minimally in my 40s, to sewing, upcycling, repurposing, mending, tweaking, minimizing, and generally transforming my clothing in my 50s and I love the results. I now have a minimal number of clothes that I love, that reflect who I am, and that fit. I am so fortunate that my mom, who was always dressed beautifully, taught me about quality. If one buys quality in anything, she will have it for a long, long time, saving money and our earth’s precious resources. It’s nice to know that we are returning to those values.

  34. Thank you again for starting this conversation. I responded to your prompt here –

    Slow fashion wasn’t something I thought about—it was something my mother did without much explanation as to why it was important. When she taught me how to sew, we created a yellow and blue quilt for my twin-sized bed, and as I grew up, I graduated from sewing quilts to re-fashioning vintage t-shirts found at the local Salvation Army.

    It was merely a hobby, an unserious pursuit, and a way of setting myself apart from my peers. Now, it’s a humanitarian, environmental, and ecological concern. It’s a way to confront the myths we’re sold and the myths we tell ourselves.

    Women are powerful. 80% of purchases are made or influenced by women. Yet at our core we are not consumers—we are creators. Makers. How can what we wear empower us without also disempowering others?

    What does slow fashion mean to me? Without understanding how to sew or make our own clothes, we lose sight of how much time and energy it takes to make a garment, and that disconnection from the process leads us to view clothes and the people who create them as disposable. It’s time we all pause, take a deep breath, consider the originations and implications of what we’re wearing, and refuse to move blindly into the future.

    • Yes yes yes! I love that you brought in the power of women, being makers at the core, and empowering everyone in the process!

  35. Hi Karen, very glad to be joining in on the conversation this month. I’ve been trying to do my own version of slow fashion ever since I learnt how to knit and sew 10 years ago – and it’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded people for once! People in general are quite quick to write off alternatives to fast fashion, and are shocked when I tell them that it is possible to buy second hand and make clothing as opposed to spending to support a system we don’t agree with. Anyway, I’m far too wordy to stick to comments so I shall be joining in on my blog.

  36. Wednesday is not so bad for the first week? Your prompting questions really got me thinking more deeply about it all (and yes, I, too, have written a blog post – and an Instagram post (@proper_tension). In a nutshell, my engagement with slow fashion is simply another outgrowth of trying to live authentically (and yes, I mean that in the common as well as existential sense). Just like I’m learning to hunt because I eat meat, I’m invested in where my clothes come from, how I use them, and how they affect more than just me.
    I’m loving all the intros, and it’s always exciting to “meet” new people who share similar values.

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  38. I’m not too late either for the week 1 post ( Slow fashion has slowly crept into my consciousness, both from reading your blogs and the relevant links and videos you shared, but also from necessity when I lost my job and found my shopping budget drastically reduced. This made me think hard about my shopping habit, as I explain on my blog. It’s good to see so many joining this movement towards mindfulness, consciousness and a simpler life. I’m happy to join the game this time around.

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  40. Hi – My name is Karen. I’m a knitter and sewer but mostly a knitter. I’ve been following along last year and this year. I love reading everyone’s comments, ideas, and the discussions. Something that has come to my mind is bath towels. I know they aren’t fashion and aren’t typically something people make themselves, but I always see such beautiful new ones in stores. My dream is to have a matching set of bath towels in the color of my choosing and when I see them in stores, I imagine which color I would choose. However, I can’t seem to throw out the ones I have. (Some of you might find this odd/gross.) I’m 41 years old and have some towels that my mom bought me when I was 14 years old. (I know that’s crazy! Right? But they’re still serviceable.) I also have towels that were my parents that my mom bought sometime before she passed away almost 26 years ago. When my dad passed away 2 years ago, I took some of his towels because they were still perfectly good. Now, I’m not keeping my parents towels to remember them by because I have much nicer things from them that I cherish. However, I just feel that it is such a waste to donate/throw out perfectly good towels. I’m sure it comes from how I was brought up. Even though my parents were well off, they didn’t grow up with a lot. I remember if my mom bought new towels, she would send our “old” ones to her siblings in Germany who at the time didn’t have as much as we did. She did the same with our clothes. I learned not to be wasteful and conscientious.
    Anyway, back to the point – what do you do with your towels? How long do you keep them? Just curious because I’m sure they contribute greatly to the waste and environmental issues we are facing. For example, my nephew, 22, every year of college he would throw out his towels and then buy new ones the next year. I wanted to pummel him for being so wasteful.

    • I feel the same way about old towels. I long for new ones in matching colors that spruce up the bathroom, but the old ones, while worn, still function, so I can’t bear to do it! I sometimes think about cutting up the ones that are truly wearing out and making them into adorable little bath mitts as baby gifts or even using the terrycloth fabric for backing potholders. I haven’t tried it yet, though! It’s an idea to consider.

      • I use 15-year-old bath towels– definitely not gross, you actually give me hope that I won’t have to buy new ones for another 15 years :)

    • I think my newest towels are about ten years old – glad I’m not the only one!

      I do have some smaller towels that I never use, and I’ve been thinking about using them as batting for baby quilts… we’ll see how that goes.

  41. Hi everyone! I wanted to share a quick retelling of a conversation I overheard today in a charity shop. For me, it served as reminder that, as much as I love being part of an online community of like-minded people when it comes to knitting and slow fashion, we do have a certain responsibility to look outside of ourselves and find ways to gently and non-judgmentally, spread the word.

    So, back to the charity shop. I was browsing , as I often do, in the hope of uncovering a glorious Fair Isle jumper (no such luck!) when a woman in the changing room started a conversation with a friend who was browsing the shop. Succinctly put, she informed her friend that she required a full quota of new knitwear and thicker tops for the autumn as she had thrown away everything from last winter. When her (slightly startled looking) friend asked what she meant by that, she cheerfully explained that, although she still liked all of her sweaters from last year and even though they were all still in good condition, she couldn’t bear the thought of wearing the same things two years in a row. I was shamelessly eavesdropping at this point as I couldn’t believe people actually did things like this. She had binned (or donated, maybe by throw away she meant donate, I hope so at least) a whole winter wardrobe, full of clothes that admitted to still liking, for no reason other the fact she ‘wanted to feel like starting afresh each season’. I was, and still am, gobsmacked. The only silver-lining to this tale is that she was shopping for replacement items in a charity shop instead of a fast fashion outlet.

    I do hope that Slotober grows and that we can all work to spread the slow fashion philosophy. Maybe one day people will treasure the journey each item of clothing goes on and seek solace in the comfortable folds of a favourite pair of jean or the patina of a well-worn and much-patched sweater. Hopefully people will start buying clothes with a 5 year plan instead of a 5 wears plan.

    Thanks for indulging my little tale from between the racks of a charity shop and happy Slotobering, whatever form that may take.

  42. I wrote an introduction on Instagram (@frenchtoasttasha) and surprised myself by how much I really wanted to say about the intersection of slow fashion with how I feel about myself, what I make, and how I interact with the rest of the world. I couldn’t stop thinking about how slow, or slower, fashion really can be for everyone, whether you make your own clothes or not, just making more thoughtful choices could make such a difference … so I wrote a blog post about that.
    Just as last year, I’m floored but the mindfulness and eloquence of the comments all around Slotober. It really gives me a lot of hope!

  43. I watched from afar last year, and this year my project for this month is to learn how to sew by hand. I’ve been a knitter for decades, and I’ve always been a little afraid of sewing, but I want to be able to expand my making skills.

    I’ve also spent a lot of time over the last year getting rid of things that don’t work for me or that don’t fit with the slow fashion, ethically sourced, fair practices ethos that I support. I did a similar thing when I moved my cosmetic choices to cruelty free brands, and it’s a slow process as I gradually use up/wear out things that don’t work for me. I keep thinking about this in terms of progress, progress, progress. I don’t know that I will ever achieve perfection, but I am savoring every slow step of progress.

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  45. I was beyond thrilled when I discovered you on IG yesterday! My journey has been a long one, starting with a fashion design degree back in 1999, thinking I’d make OOAK clothing and walk into Anthropologie with a suitcase full and see if they would buy them, lol….obviously, I discovered the reality of the industry and switched gears. Unfortunately I didn’t make the connection at the time that the state of the industry was such a huge social and environmental issue and proceeded to buy right into it for a long time. I first heard the term Slow Fashion when I discovered Alabama Chanin, and have been following the movement for quite a few years now. Once I decided to get serious about my own wardrobe last year, I started a Slow Style series on my blog and just posted an update last week about how the year went:

    I chose the term style rather than fashion because I think knowing your style and sticking with it is a huge part of slowing down the cycle, whether you’re making or buying your clothes. The blog Into Mind was a huge influence when it came to defining my style and being more thoughtful about what I bought or made. Thanks for facilitating this discussion, looking forward to new connections with like minded makers!

  46. Bit of a latecomer to the party– and still reading through the above!– but here’s my contribution:

    TL;DR version: slow fashion/style brings together my desire to dress well with my long-standing interest in mindfulness and simplicity– my closet used to be the battleground of my aesthetics vs. my idealism but now I am finding more joy in what I have and what I make.

    This is such a rich conversation!

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  49. Much later than I planned – nothing ‘slow’ about my week! I’ve blogged here:
    My thoughts this month are more about my life and the time I make for making, as much as for the industry as a whole. I think this is a factor – that clothes are purchased because making is a laborious process. I work full time, parent two young and active children, and work part time as well. The pressure to also find the time to make (or room in the budget for well-made clothes) is one I struggle with often. My mother sewed almost all of her own clothes, and still knits and quilts. I grew up in a house of ‘makers’ as my father was a woodworker (hobby, not livelihood) who made small things and some furniture. I love to make things and would like to sew too but realistically I cannot fit that in to the life I live. Looking forward to reading more throughout the month.

  50. Thank you for reopening this conversation. Thank you to All for your contributions.
    I am a knitter and love to spin. Finding last year’s photos and discussions online, I decided to dust off my sewing skills to make things that would fit well in a coordinated basic wardrobe of my own.
    My goals are to reknit handspun yarn into a sweater I like wearing and to sew a cotton sheet that’s worn in one spot into a new summer top. And to learn more.
    I live in Philadelphia, PA, US.

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