Slow Fashion Resources

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A decade ago, stores like H&M, Forever21, and Zara seemed like a wonderland: cheap, easy, and constantly rotating stock to match the latest style. But today, with Forever21 officially bankrupt and the climate crisis dominating public discourse, the detrimental effects of “fast fashion” at all levels of the supply chain are increasingly coming to light. Fortunately, it’s easy to take steps toward being a more responsible consumer—and doing so need not mean compromising your fashion sense.

Below, find an array of resources, both virtual and here in Brownstone Brooklyn, to help you learn about the environmental and human impacts of fast fashion and to clothe yourself and your kids more sustainably.

used clothes

 

Park Slope Parents is committed to keeping fast fashion, toys, and kid gear out of landfills. The site was founded by Susan Fox, who saw the glut of exersaucers in the street waiting to be hauled away and thought having an online resource for hand-me-downs could help. Keep an eye out on our Events page for PSP Clothing Swaps!

The very popular PSP Classifieds Group (with over half a million emails since 2003) is a great way to find other people who are committed to saving the planet (and, let’s face it, getting a great deal on items for baby, kid, and urban living).

Park Slope Parents also has two PSP Kid and Maternity Gear and Clothing Swaps, usually in March and October of each year. Hundreds of families bring their outgrown items and swap up to the next size.

The Working Moms Group has a number of clothing, shoe, and accessory swaps each year. Moms of all different shapes and sizes come with clothes they no longer need or want (or that don’t fit their changing bodies) and swap up for great “new to you” items. It’s ideal for those transitional months after having a baby when your body hasn’t quite settled into its new shape.

Most recently (starting in 2019) Park Slope Parents has also run Toy Swaps. We hope to make these swaps an annual event in April for Earth Day. We are also working with Second Chance Toys, which distributes toys to families and organizations in need. 

Finally, Park Slope Parents has a Green/Sustainability Group, where members help each other learn how to be as light as possible with their carbon footprints.

If you aren’t a member of Park Slope Parents and are a parent in Brownstone Brooklyn, join us today and help save the planet—one hand-me-down at a time. 

JOIN PARK SLOPE PARENTS:  http://bit.ly/JoinParkSlopeParents

 

Local businesses / resources on Park Slope Parents

Kid Resale & Consignment Shops

Consignment Shops & Thrift Stores

Park Slope's Second Hand and Consignment Stores

FabScrap: A great place to shop as well as to volunteer! They work with clothing designers and manufacturers around NYC, accepting their scraps and processing them for resale or recycling. In return, the companies supplying the scraps get valuable data from FabScrap about how much waste fabric they are producing, and of what kinds. FabScrap's scrap processing workshop is in Sunset Park, and they have a storefront in Flatiron.

Helpsy: If you need to donate clothes, check out Helpsy in addition to the other storefronts listed above. They're a textile collection company with an environmental mission and drop-off bins located throughout Brooklyn.

 

Online thrift shopping

 

The Second Child

What parents are saying: "it is a kids consignment boutique in Chicago that is really trying to make a go at e-commerce and ships nationwide. They carry newborn through size 14. Amazing deals!! And thank you for supporting an amazing small business that has been a special part of its community for over 33 years."

 

Josie's Friends

What parents are saying: "they are mission-oriented, and donate unsold merchandise. You can send them consigment that they will give money raised to your school as well."

 

Owl Tree Kids in Carroll Gardens

What parents are saying: "I've only purchased clothes in person (court street between president and union in Carroll Gardens), but owl tree kids has an online shopping page. They are a wonderful local business and I’ve found many great clothing items for my toddler there!"

 

Poshmark

Poshmark is the largest social commerce marketplace for fashion where anyone can buy, sell and share their personal style.

What parents are saying: "For one off items (since you have to pay shipping separately for each) like coats and boots I do poshmark for my son - I've also managed to get some good finds there if I search for "bundles" and find someone selling like 4 pairs of sweatpants in his size, or if they happen to have a child slightly older than him I can just purchase a bunch of clothes from one person."

 

The RealReal

The RealReal is the leader in authenticated luxury consignment, with all items authenticated through a rigorous process overseen by experts.

What parents are saying: "I personally love TheRealReal- I trade in my clothes for credit and get new ones!"

 

Vinted

Vinted is your community for pre-loved fashion, including men's, women's, and kids' sections.

 

Depop

On Depop, a peer-to-peer social marketplace, you can see what your friends and the people you’re inspired by are liking, buying, and selling. In turn, your friends and creative influencers all over the world can see the things you like, buy, and sell, and are inspired by you.

 

Swap.com

We enable a community of thrifters to find affordable, quality secondhand apparel for the whole family. Being an online thrift store, we make it easier than ever to filter through like-new, pre-owned clothing. Together we keep millions of items out of landfills which is something everyone can feel good about.

 

thredUP

thredUP is the world’s largest fashion resale marketplace with over 35k brands—from Gap to Gucci—at up to 90% off retail prices.

 

Kids on 45th

New and nearly-new kids' clothing delivered to your door for up to 90% off retail prices.

 

Mercari

We all have things we don’t use, never used or simply outgrew. But that stuff still has value. Mercari gives you the power to simply sell it, ship it, and earn some cash for it.

 

Kidizen

Kidizen is your resale marketplace to buy, sell, and swap your kid's clothing, gear, toys, decor and more.

 

The Swoondle Society

Our hope is that The Swoondle Society will encourage our members to buy fewer, high-quality goods by giving them the opportunity to continuously trade for “new-to-you” items in the right sizes, seasons and genders.

 

 

 

Online sources for (new) ethical fashion / fast fashion alternatives

 

Pact:

Clothing made with fair-trade organic cotton.

 

Alternative Apparel

Fashion basics for a sustainable future.

 

Nuuly

Subscribe and rent any 6 styles, every month, for $88.

 

Of Her Own Kind

What parents are saying: 'Our Park Slope neighbor (and mom), Kathryn Alex, has a sustainable fashion line, Of Her Own Kind. Its amazing heirloom quality and a woman-run local small business. I have a few pieces and highly recommend it!"

 

Instagram buy/sell/trade communities

 

@selltradeslowfashion

For secondhand deals on ethical fashion brands that can otherwise be pricey.

 

@selltradekidsfashion

The brand-new sister site of Sell/Trade Slow Fashion, offering deals on sustainable fashion items for kiddos.

 

@noihsaf.bazaar and @noihsaf.kiddos

It's "fashion" spelled backwards! Follow the Noihsaf pages for new-to-you fashion from a range of luxury brands.

 

Articles and resources

 

Business Insider, “The fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Here are the biggest ways it impacts the planet.”

Some parts of modern life are, at this point, widely known to cause environmental harm — flying overseas, using disposable plastic items, and even driving to and from work, for example. But when it comes to our clothes, the impacts are less obvious. 

 

The Independent, “The Environmental Costs of Fast Fashion”

Water pollution, toxic chemical use and textile waste: fast fashion comes at a huge cost to the environment.

 

EcoBusiness, “By the numbers: The impacts of fast fashion”

The fashion industry runs on a business model that generates negative externalities for both people and planet. What are the real costs of your clothes?

 

Sloww, “Slow Fashion 101: What is Slow Fashion (vs Ethical Fashion & Sustainable Fashion)?”

It’s easy to shop cheap, fast fashion. And, it’s easy to shop often. But, the choice is also there to shop slow, ethically, and sustainably. Like all things in life, with great choice comes great responsibility.

 

Beeco, "Clothing Fabrics: How Sustainable Is Your Wardrobe?"

In this fast-fashion era, shopping for eco-friendly clothes isn’t easy, especially and finding green alternatives is even more complicated when you don’t know what fabrics you should be looking for. But after reading this guide, you’ll look at that care tag differently and you’ll know how eco-friendly is that amazing dress you saw on that Instagrammer’s feed.

 

Ethical Fashion Guide

More and more people care about who made their clothes and in which conditions they’ve been made. But not everyone wants to spend hours researching brands and their ethics. The Ethical Fashion Guide is here to connect those people with these amazing brands who want to do fashion in a different way.

 

The Good Trade, 35 Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion

 

Books

 

Lauren Bravo, How to Break Up With Fast Fashion

Journalist Lauren Bravo loves clothes more than anything, but she's called time on her affair with fast fashion in search of a slower, saner way of dressing. In this book, she'll help you do the same.

 

Lucy Siegle, To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World

An expose of the fashion industry written by the Observer's 'Ethical Living' columnist, portraying current practice as inhumane and environmentally devastating.

 

Tamsin Blanchard, Green is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style

Does our shopping addiction contribute to climate change? What’s so special about organic cotton? Who are the real fashion victims behind cheap jeans? From the truth about fast fashion to the best biodegradable shoes, from guilt-free spending sprees to the joys of swishing parties, Tamsin Blanchard is your guide to all things fair trade and fabulous.

 

Ruth Styles, Ecologist Guide to Fashion: A Green Living Guide

Drawing on their extensive archives, as well as much new material, the Ecologist Guide to Fashion offers an enlightening insight into the garments we wear everyday.

 

Clare Press, Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion

In Wardrobe Crisis, fashion journalist Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. Putting her insider status to good use, Press examines the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture.

 

Greta Eagan, Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe

Have you ever wondered, "How can I inherently do good while looking good?" Wear No Evil has the answer, and is the timely handbook for navigating both fashion and ethics.

 

Elizabeth Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

In Overdressed, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains, the death of middle-market and independent retail­ers, and the roots of our obsession with deals and steals.

 

Safia Minney, Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution

Naked Fashion invites you to join the movement of consumers, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals who are using their purchasing power, talents, and experience to make fashion more sustainable.

 

Sandy Black, The Sustainable Fashion Handbook

This sourcebook on all aspects of sustainable fashion encompasses not only the environmental issues presented by a wasteful and fast-moving fashion cycle but also the social impact of the global fashion industry, which employs up to forty million people worldwide in manufacturing and agriculture.

 

Tansy Hoskins, Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion

"Stitched Up" delves into the alluring world of fashion to reveal what is behind the clothes we wear. Moving between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, the book explores consumerism, class and advertising to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation.

 

Sass Brown, ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials

ReFashioned features 46 international designers who work with recycled materials and discarded garments, reinvigorating them with new life and value.

 

Dana Thomas, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes

An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry and the grassroots, high-tech, international movement fighting to reform it.

Personalities

 

Jade Doherty, @notbuyingnew

Buying nothing brand new, owning less and rewearing more.

 

Kari Greaves, @east_london_style

Slow fashion. Vintage archivist. Dressmaker, Designer, Seamstress. Bespoke sewing & recycling. Buying nothing new 2020 & 2019

 

Podcasts

 

Wardrobe Crisis

Each week, ethical fashion advocate Clare Press interviews guests about fashion, culture, sustainability, ethics, activism and the environment.

 

Conscious Chatter

A podcast where what we wear matters. Conscious Chatter is an inclusive audio space that asks questions about our clothing.

 

Wear Your Values

Over the course of five episodes you’ll get to hear about just how much work it takes to be sustainable for a brand; you’ll hear about the incredible, but polluting, journey a piece of clothing takes from when it’s being made to you taking it home.

 

Fashion Revolution Podcast

International fashion journalist Tamsin Blanchard speaks to researchers, supply chain experts, garment workers, politicians and activists to explore the intersection of sustainability, ethics, and transparency in the fashion industry.

 

Pre-Loved Podcast

Pre-Loved Podcast is a weekly interview show about rad vintage style with guests you’ll want to go thrifting with, hosted by Emily Stochl of the Brume & Daisy blog.

 

Apps

 

Good On You – Ethical Fashion

The Good On You app gives you the power to check brand ratings while you shop, discover ethical and sustainable fashion labels from around the world, and get exclusive offers from the best brands.

 

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 Wisdom from PSP members on shopping and styling responsibly

 

Consider ethical or sustainable fabrics. "Organic cotton, for example, uses few-to-no pesticides, and is a very easy search term to use if shopping online."

 

100% fiber contents are easier to recycle. "And if you must buy a blend it is best to be an ALL natural fibers blend OR ALL synthetic fibers blend. not a mix of synthetic and natural. If it is mixing, it should be adding structural integrity. ex. Acrylic and Acetate mainly just make things cheaper. Nylon and poly can make things stronger. Lycra makes things stretchier, but it also usually wears out faster than the rest of the fibers and holds in sweat."

 

Recycled fibers are not all that great. "Particularly recycled poly. it is taking recyclable material out of a constantly recyclable stream and moving into a product that likely will not get recycled. waterbottles are easier to make into water bottles. it's hard to make shoes or a jacket into waterbottles or more shoes or jackets. it will likely be down cycled at best but likely go to a landfill. But that said, if you love it and you want to keep it for a long time it doesn't really matter what fiber it is."

 

Look for fair-trade fashion. "By paying fair wages to workers, you contribute to economic equity, which is deeply intertwined with environmental sustainability, and is also very easy to search for."

 

Look for companies that share more about their supply chain. "They have more control/ visibility over what goes into their products."

 

Shop local or handmade. "Cuts down on shipping (lowers carbon footprint), and often handmade also means designed to last."

 

Make it last. "No matter what you buy - $5 fast fashion, polyester t-shirts, or $5000 Balmain blazer, make it last. wash it properly. If you can, wash it less often. normal every day clothes will last longer if you wash them in cold water with similar items and hang dry them. if you can separate by color, don’t wash delicates with towels etc. Tailor them so they wear better, mend them if possible. See if you can make the garment grow or evolve too - Alter it? Dye it? ... Fall in love with it, and if not, wash it and fold it nicely before bringing it to a 2nd hand shop."

 

"Even if you buy new, and even if it’s ‘fast fashion’ - think of it as price or damage per wear- the more you wear something, the less impact it has because you’re not replacing it."

 

Shop for durability. "Luckily, this is very much on trend right now. Carhartts and Levis last and all the kids are wearing them these days. I feel like I see many teenagers wearing kind of more grown-up looking outfits too that look (dare I say) professional! Avoid things that are artificially aged. For one, this artificial aging process involves a lot of chemicals and fibers into the water supply etc. but also, the aging process does just that, ages it. so if the garment has holes, the holes will get bigger. if the garment is worn in spots, those places will wear out first. and buy things that are the right fabric for the activity. pants and jackets should be durable. athletic things should be made for sweating in and doing cartwheels."

 

Be wary of too-good-to-be-true prices. "Obscenely cheap things are definitely using unfair labor practices, even if they are being made in some war-torn country. $10 pants with a zipper? just no. $80-100 is more reasonable. If it is a company, like levis or dockers that makes large quantities, maybe their prices will be lower. But i think there is something to be said for buying from smaller companies. H+M never makes less than like 20,000-50,000 of a style and they make so many different styles! it is not possible actually count all that product let alone quality control it and make sure it is being made in the factory/country that you ordered it from."

 

Lastly—even taking small steps is helpful! Breaking free of fast fashion isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. Together, we can make a big difference by contributing in each of our own small ways. Let's do it, PSP!