Sometimes, the temptation of high street fast fashion can be all too much. Their perfectly styled mannequins and rails of on trend clothes and accessories are undeniably alluring. I’ll find myself reaching for a cute top or a seasonal statement shoe, even when I originally had no intention of doing so.
For those of us who strive to curate a more sustainable wardrobe, and a slower, more conscious attitude towards styling, our relationships with the high street can be a complex one.
As explained in our post on how to shop more sustainably for your wardrobe, I am aware that sustainability is a privilege not everyone can practice. I’ve worked on the high street, and it continues to provide millions of jobs globally. Employment, alongside numerous other factors, mean our modern-day relationships and dependence on the high street and fast fashion is extremely complex.
Despite this complexity, I, like many others, am striving to do my bit, minimising waste, and avoid investing in ethically compromised products when possible. I try my best to style slowly; investing in versatile pieces, I will wear often, and shopping second hand and vintage when I can.
The seamless styling and trendy ensembles put together by teams of talented stylists and creatives working at fast fashion brands mean their ready-made outfits are easy to buy into and replicate. Often, vintage and charity shops don’t have the funds to hire these specially trained individuals, and so, styling second hand and sustainably is left up to the individual. There are other ways of finding style inspiration for your pre-loved garments: Pinterest, Instagram, and style blogs are great platforms to find inspiration.
I thought I’d share six of my sustainably sourced outfits for a little pre-loved, small business, and vintage style inspiration.
Starting with a small independent brand; this Saturday by Megan Ellaby high neck top is made from organic cotton, using ethically accredited factories. Their pieces are easy to style and made to last. I’ve paired this with an old Primark night dress I had hiding at the bottom of the pyjama draw. The lacy slip dress is super nineties and ties together grunge and girly aesthetics.
Sweater vests are the trend of the season. I adore this trend but knew I wanted to source it as sustainably as possible. This pink sweater vest captures the preppy style in a more ‘me’ colour, that doesn’t seem quite so private school, or Zara’s bestsellers rack. Purchased from eBay, sweater vests old school roots mean they’re a piece that’s easy to track down at the vintage store or through online secondhand sites. Keeping things simple on the bottom, I wore this pink knit number and matching pink tee with my well-worn denim mom jeans.
Staying with the sweater vest trend, I picked this dreamy nineteen-eighties inspired piece up from Beyond Retro. The bright colours and geometric pattern reminded me of an eighties ski resort. For a slightly more styled outfit, I’ve paired my comfy overalls, with a charity shop found faux sheepskin coat, and a fluffy bucket hat (although I’m yet to brave this outside the house!)
Styling the sweater vest slightly simpler, I’ve paired it with my trusty blue mom jeans. This outfit is effortlessly on-trend and perfect for those days when you’re working virtually.
Another perfect working from home look is this groovy-chic inspired colour palette. This look is comfy enough, whilst still giving the illusion of effort and ‘togetherness’ we want to emit through our zoom interactions. This purple cami top was a charity shop gem from last summer, and the cardigan is my most worn item of clothing, from an old range at Nobody’s Child– super cosy and casual..
This final look channels all my nineties Notting Hill dreams with a beret and leather blazer. This blazer tops my list of on-trend charity shop finds for the year so far. To fend off those increasingly abrasive cold chills, I’ve paired it with a well-loved Fuchsia Shaw white jumper and a sturdy pair of denim jeans. On the rare occasion that I’ll leave the house, I’d throw on my favourite pair of chunky black Dr Marten’s.
I hope this (almost) weeks worth of outfits gave you some inspiration for your slow styling journey. You can find more sustainable style inspiration on the Jasmine Isabella Instagram, or here on our blog.