Miss Darko to Mrs. Doubtfire

After a long summer at work, isolated from my family and friends, I’m coming back dressing totally different. I’m going for slow, modest, grandma-esque fashion. I should probably start off by explaining what slow fashion is and why it’s a good alternative:

Slow fashion is the movement away from mass-produced clothing (fast fashion). It’s often replacing the fast, mass-produced wardrobe with second-hand clothing, clothing produced under ethical working conditions and environmentally friendly clothing.

I was enlightened by Patsy Perry’s article in the Independent about slow fashion (published on my 18th birthday oddly enough). Bright clothing is often made with dyes that are toxic and pollute the world’s clean water supply. In fact, it is the second biggest culprit of water pollution. These chemicals can also cause cancer, and build up in organisms faster than they can be excreted. Polyester is also harmful to aquatic life: the microfibres tear when clothes are being washed and are able to get through the water system into the sea, where plankton and other small sea creatures will ingest them. Anyone who did GCSE science knows that those microfibres will be carried along the food chain and eventually end up in the fish that we eat. Did I mention that these microfibres are non-biodegradable?

*If you want some more reasons to say no to fashion-on-the-go, have a look at her article here: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html

So I’ve given you reasons why fast fashion is bad, but why is slow fashion good?

Skirt £2, Shirt £2, Bag £2 (Cancer Research UK) – Its cheap and often a societal good.
None of you can tell me that this outfit isn’t crazy cute.

“Okay, we get it. You’ve become a fashion slow-coach. But why are you deciding to go modest? What in the 1798 is going on there?”

For a long time, I have been wearing less and telling myself that I’m doing it to show my self confidence. But after a long, lonely and introspective summer, I’ve realised that I wear the least when I lack confidence in myself the most. I want to stir the pot by wearing something risky, I want to get hearts racing because I’m not secure in just knowing that I’m beautiful aside from what people think.

It sounds old fashioned, but I’ve found that modesty empowers me.

I’m starting afresh with long skirts and smart shirts – I’m ready to walk the streets just knowing in myself that I am beautiful. I’m trusting in who I am.

There is a breed of women out there who can draw friendship and romance to themselves simply by being who they are. Such women are dangerous: they have nothing to lose because there is nothing to expose. There is no vulnerability in transparency.

Another reason is that there is a huge issue of fetishisation of black women. If we don’t have big hair (and even bigger butts) we aren’t living up to people’s expectations of a black woman. If we aren’t bikini-clad, oiled up and packaged for consumption, people mark us off as unattractive (but I’ll open that can of worms another day). I’m going to stroll along the streets of Alicante this September in a long skirt and a light blouse, still living my hot girl summer.

-Pepper

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