8 Ways Slow Fashion Is Good for Your Mental Health

Guest post by writer and mental health advocate Alexandra Chelse. Connect with her on Instagram @alexandrachelse.

In recent years, the slow fashion movement has gained momentum as consumers are becoming more aware of fast fashion’s negative contributions to our environment. Slow fashion offers a revolutionary contrast to fast fashion in today’s modern world.

When we open up ourselves to its way of life, we will start to make fashion choices not based on what’s “in” and trendy, but by our current needs along with the quality of our clothes and their impact on our planet.

It’s up to us then to also consider the greater impact that the clothes we wear has on our physical and mental well-being. Here is a list of ways that practicing slow fashion can add value to your current lifestyle.

It Can Save You Money

Supporting slow fashion means an end to over-purchasing and buying stuff you don’t really need. When you get out of the habit of impulse buying – which may feed into unhealthy habits you can’t sustain overtime – we allow ourselves the space to truly prioritize our well-being and cut back on unnecessary costs. Slow fashion equals less stress in the long run.

It Gives You a Fresh Perspective

We live in a consumerist society, often fueled by the innate need we have to please others and belong. The lower your self-esteem, the more you may find yourself falling into this trap. When we allow ourselves to gain a fresh perspective, our buying choices can be based on things outside of external opinions. We also learn to waste less and be more content with what we have. By opening our minds more, we begin paving the way for true freedom of mind and spirit away from the never-ending demands of the fast-fashion industry.

It Helps You Slow Down

Chasing after our constantly changing whims set to the tune of a fast-paced trendsetting culture can leave us forever feeling as if we are lacking something. Taking a step back and slowing things down in our lives is the hassle-free alternative.

At least, that is the message that Georgia Johnson, Founder of Slow Fashion to Save Minds Movement, is seeking to convey. Her new model for the fashion industry brings sustainability and mental wellness to the forefront and teaches consumers innovative new ways to incorporate more positive fashion practices.

Beyond just looking good, slow fashion encourages you to be at your best mentally and emotionally too.

It Helps You Give Back to the Environment

According to Nature Climate Change, our fashion industry emits an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. Additionally, the World Bank states that 40% of clothing purchases in some countries is never used.

As consumers we can start to give back to our environment by lowering our carbon footprint and doing our part to reduce pollution in our planet. When our everyday lives demonstrate kindness to the worlds we are part of, naturally we circulate compassion over to ourselves too, and in the end, we are better for it.

After all, this is our home, and we have a duty to take care of it.

You Can Rest Easy Knowing Where Your Clothes Are Being Made

Many retailers in the fast fashion industry keep their prices low by producing clothing in factories where workers work in dangerous conditions. Global Fashion Agenda found that over half of workers in the fashion industry are not even paid the minimum wage in their country.

The weight of this knowledge can be costly and will inevitably be felt on the clothes you wear. When your actions align with your values, your mind is put at ease. Anything outside of that can lead to cognitive dissonance, which can cause you to feel distress in your mind and body.

Instead of wearing clothing that supports the inhumane treatment of workers, why not ask for something better? Support one of the countless organizations out there advocating for fairer wages and labour conditions for workers everywhere.

One way you can unite with their efforts is by intentionally purchasing from ethical brands where you know that the workers who produced the clothes on your back are being paid fairly.

There Will Be Less Toxic Chemicals For You to Worry About

The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet.

Wearing garments made of toxic chemicals can contribute negatively to your environment and to your mental health. On the other hand, slow fashion companies typically create their clothing using non-toxic dyes and antibacterial fabrics to discourage the use of harsh chemicals. You’ll know that they are free from chemical use, because it will be certified non-toxic.

You Will Be Able to Give Back to Small Businesses

Aside from giving back to the environment, there is evidence that shows that we boost our own mental state when we give back to others. In light of how the COD-VID-19 pandemic has affected our economy, the choices we make now could make more of a difference than you know.

You can invest into your local community by buying your clothes from small business owners, many of whom produce their products locally. Some even have certain standards set in place, so you can know exactly where their clothes are being sourced.

Using our dollars to spread good in the world is part of how you can be part of a larger movement for positive change, which will in turn, lead to a deeper sense of fulfillment within yourself.

You Will Have Time to Focus on Other Interests/Wellness

Spending less time feeding into consumerism can make it possible for you to have more opportunities to do things of significance. Use your freed-up time to enjoy hobbies and interests that build you up as a person, allow you time to reflect, and add profound meaning to your life and the lives of others.

There is a world of possibilities waiting for you outside of the high-speed shopping hustle.

Photo by Alyssa Strohmann on Unsplash