I Moved to Australia and Become a Reformed Slow Fashionista

slow fashion advocate

Not long ago, I was one of many bloggers in Manila who are privileged enough to be included in many PR and fashion brands guestlists, and spending my calendar year attending many clothing shop openings, brand launches, fashion shows, etc. 

It feels good, you know. Having a VIP treatment, experiencing the first dips, shopping parties, while sipping (cheap) champagne.

The experience is intoxicating.

Then I moved to Australia, and a lot of things have changed.

slow fashion advocate

We have located just an hour drive to Melbourne, but surprisingly I never miss the city life. Living in the Gippsland area gives me heaps of opportunities to do what I (almost) forgotten to enjoy for many years living in the city. 


I remember back in the 4th grade when my local primary school teacher has taught us to identify different types of fabrics, and stitches. She made us create our own fabric cut-out collection (which you now call fabric swatch book). Our final exam is to show what we learned from various stitching and create an item that we like (mine was an embroidered pillowcase with my Mom’s initials on it). I knew I was not that good enough then, but surprisingly she gave me an A-grade.

Sewing my own clothes give me happiness and satisfaction.

Why didn’t I spend my college years attending a fashion school and not in a business school? 

Probably because it was not practical for me during those years, including the fact that attending fashion school for formal education is more expensive, than going to a business school. 

And part of me believes that I don’t need to attend a fashion school just to learn how to properly create my own clothes. I always knew there are other ways to learn. Hello, YouTube! Hello, Google!

I’ve been mending and sewing here and there before, but since I moved here to Australia, I now enjoy it fully.

In fact, your babe here is now part of the growing slow fashionista advocate.



Slow Fashionista Advocate

slow fashion advocate

Don't get me wrong. I still occasionally received packages of complimentary clothes from various fast fashion brands, and it is quite hard to say NO to free clothes! 

However, mending things helped me to become more creative, and savvy which also means convenient making my savings getting fatter and fatter than ever.

Slow fashion is the widespread reaction to fast fashion. It’s thoughtful, intentional, and holistic. It’s also an argument for hitting the brakes on excessive production, overcomplicated supply chains, and mindless consumption. 

The term was first coined by author, design activist, and Professor Kate Fletcher. She defines slow fashion as quality-based rather than time-based. Other slow fashion pioneers note that the movement encourages slower production, unifies sustainability with ethics, and ultimately invites consumers to invest in well-made and lasting clothes.

While slow, ethical, and sustainable fashion all describe efforts towards an aspirational goal—rethinking our relationship to clothes—slow fashion combines a brand’s practices with a customer’s shopping habits. The movement works towards creating an industry that benefits the planet and all people. In a perfect world, and hopefully, someday soon, fashion will simply be slow fashion.




From duvet cover into a dress

DIY duvet cover into a dress
From old duvet cover (I got it from one of my recent pay-it-forward gigs in our neighborhood) into another summer dress. 

DIY duvet cover into a dress

DIY duvet cover into a dress

slow fashion movement

Playing with an old duvet sheet is so much fun! It is a cheap and great material to practice your sewing skills. Most of the duvet sheet covers are made of cotton which is a good material for making dresses. And the prints are more fun, especially if you are making summer dresses.



Joining the Slow Fashion Movement

slow fashion movement

Slow fashion’s barrier to entry is fairly low—anyone can join the movement. In fact, you don’t even need to buy new clothes! Here are a few ways to get involved:

Create a love story. 
Look through your closet and recount the history of some of your favorite pieces. This can be as simple as remembering the time you spilled spaghetti on (and then saved!) your white t-shirt, or as grand as holding space for a piece of clothing passed down by a loved one. Put life back into your closet! 

Build a capsule wardrobe. 
This wardrobe method requires you to get real about what clothing actually makes sense for your lifestyle. Only a select amount of items can make up a capsule wardrobe. Your clothes must be as practical as they are stylish.

Make thoughtful purchases. 
Begin by giving up the urge to impulse buy. Phone a friend before splurging on a new pair of shoes, or consult your current wardrobe before purchasing an item that won’t work with anything you own. Consider checking secondhand apps or thrift stores first when you’re ready to buy something new. 

Do some research. 
In the inevitable situation that you discover a new slow fashion brand, take time to vet the company and ensure that you're investing your dollars wisely. Poke around the brand’s website for specifics about the design process. Is it slow, sustainable, and ethical for everyone involved? Does the brand disclose how and where the clothes are made? How many collections a year does the brand produce? Answering these and like-minded questions will illuminate whether or not a company practices what it preaches. When in doubt, you can send the brand an email or reach out on social channels!



Are you ready to join the slow fashion movement? 




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30 comments :

  1. Slow fashion is something I have always practiced- I just didn't know it had a name! I was never one who impulse shopped for clothing and had to keep up with trends. This slow fashion movement is something I can get behind!

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    1. Hi Bryan! By not following the fashion trend and someone as not an impulse shopper, definitely you are contributing awesomely to promoting slow fashion and sustainable environment. Well done!

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  2. Great post! Lately I have tried to be very intentional when purchasing new clothes and try to shop at thrift stores - both for budget reasons and environmental ones. SO good reduce, reuse, recycle. And I love your dress! Beautiful job. :)

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I used to shop a lot especially when new collection are available. Then I realized they all come to waste and I forgot to wear them.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this dress idea with us. You looks so good.

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  4. I always love seeing what you'll make next. You're very creative.

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  5. I really love the idea of slow fashion. I've always thought that trends come and go too fast. People who try to follow them all the time end up buying so many clothes and accessories!

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    1. I agree with you. Imagine working in a busy and famous atelier such as LV, Gucci, to name the few, and I could imagine the level of stress the people are in. I don't have that kind of energy.

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  6. You have a talent for creating beautiful clothes!

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  7. This is so inspiring. I hope you can turn your passion into a profitable business soon.

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    1. I also thought about it, but for now I am just enjoying my work!

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  8. Sewing is an incredible skill! That dress you made is beautiful ♡. I haven't sewed much since middle school, other than fixing little tears here and there! You've inspired me to get back into it! :) Thank you!

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    1. I am thankful that I paid attention to my grade school teacher during her sewing demos and lectures.

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  9. What a great idea for a business! I love your kitty too :)

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    1. Aww thank you! She is indeed a good companion too. Loves sleeping on top of my materials.

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  10. The idea of slow fashion looks great. You have awesome skill, the duvet cover dress looks fab on you.

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  11. Your dress fits you well. Nice fashion passion! Lovely photos!

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  12. It is awesome that you're doing all of that, that is so cool!! a slow fashionista is an awesome job.

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    1. Thank you, Chad! I dreamt of working in fashion industry, then I realized the load of stress and pressure it carries, so I didn't bother pushing it. I opt for things that I can control such as slow fashion.

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  13. Slow fashion movement is such a great idea. I love taking the time to repurpose clothing with intention. It means way more. Your duvet dress is stunning!

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  14. you are so talented! I have tried to sow stuff, and it never comes out the way I want it to. Oh, well - but I also love your dear cat, so pretty! Blessings!

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    1. Yeah, I also did many trials and errors, but it is okay. Just pause and come back when you are in the mood again :)

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  15. The global pandemic made me switch to really prioritizing what to buy. I used to buy a lot of clothes especially when there are ongoing sale and when I want some retail therapy. I'd love to learn to repurpose some of my things too and thinking of buying a sewing machine too! Love how the dress turn out! Now I am much more inspired!

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    1. That will be wonderful! I am inspired to learn basic sewing because of my Mother. When she was pregnant to me, my Father gifted her a sewing machine. More than 30years and the same sewing machine still works!

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