We need to start living life in the slow lane. We need to take our lives and the way
we consume from 100mph right down to 20.
Journalling, practising self-care, spending time in nature, ensuring that we have a
good night's sleep, taking up regular exercise and eating a balanced diet all have
a positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
Yet slowing down the way we consume and what we consume is massively
overlooked. But, why does overconsumption have a negative impact on our
mental well-being and what can we do to change it?
Read on for our guide to overconsumption, slow fashion and practising
mindfulness for the planet.
The problem with overconsumption
Overconsumption means consuming resources that can’t be replenished or that
can’t sustain themselves at the rate they’re being consumed. It’s thought to be at
the root of the planet’s climate crisis.
Overconsumption strips the planet of its natural resources such as soil, water,
forests and minerals. Leading to the collapse of ecosystems and the ruin of
When it comes to fashion, the industry entices consumers to buy large volumes
of on-trend garments. These garments tend to be of poor quality and are often
sold at low prices.
The fashion industry is said to be one of the most polluting industries in the world,
accounting for 8-10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of water waste.
The use of inexpensive synthetic materials derived from fossil fuels, mixed with
overproduction, unethical marketing tactics and cheap prices have all
contributed to the overconsumption of fashion, especially fast fashion.
Slowing down- Practising mindfulness for the planet
So, what can consumers do to help drive real change across the industry? Well,
we can start with slowing down. Considering our purchases before buying and
adopting a different mindset towards our wardrobes.
And mindfulness is one way to help. Regular mindfulness practice can inspire
more eco-friendly habits.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are
and what we’re doing. And to not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s
going on around us. The term mindfulness has roots in Buddhism and
meditation, but you don’t need to be spiritual or have any particular beliefs to
By adopting a new mindset and being aware of what we’re doing, we can start to
drive positive change in the industry.
Fast fashion and mental health
The constant messaging of staying “on-trend" and buying new clothes, can lead
to feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, shame, guilt and anxiety.
Fast fashion is often sold to us as a way to access happiness. If we buy that viral
jacket that’s all over social media then we’ll somehow achieve true happiness,
and we’ll feel socially accepted among our peers.
Even the term ‘retail therapy’ is problematic. It sells us the idea that shopping is
the solution to negative emotions, but that sudden rush of satisfaction is short-
lived. And before you know it we have a wardrobe full of clothes that remain
unworn and will likely end up in landfill.
4 benefits slow fashion has on our mental wellbeing.
1. Better focus
Fast fashion moves quickly, blink and you’ve missed yet another must-have trend.
It encourages us to treat our clothes as though they’re disposable and carry no
Slow fashion allows us to take a step back and question whether we need that
new top or those new shoes. It encourages us to focus on what we already have
and be grateful for it.
2. Falling back in love with our clothes
When we slow down to appreciate what we already have we fall back in love with
it. That dress you wore on your first date with your now husband, the cardigan
your grandmother knitted for you for Christmas years before she passed, the
outfit you wore to your graduation. Slowing down means reflecting on what we
have. Remembering all those small moments that create sentiment around our
3. Clearer mind
Slow fashion allows us to step away from endless trend cycles, sales and unethical
marketing tactics that make us feel as though we’re missing out.
It allows us to distance ourselves from the urge to buy new and rethink our
wardrobes more creatively and sustainably, such as thrifting, reselling, renting,
repairing or upcycling.
4. Less clutter in your life
Slowing down means that we make more considered purchases. We buy less but
we buy better. We invest in pieces that will last a lifetime over frivolous items that
will only last a season. It’s quality over quantity and creating capsule wardrobes.
Slowing down means we take better care of what we already have.
We need to slow down, not only for the sake of the planet but for our mental
wellbeing too. If we take a step back, we can reset our attitudes towards our
wardrobes and ultimately live happier and healthier lives.