Compare these two situations:
I buy a blouse, wear it and love it. I’m into slow fashion, so I've chosen a quality piece that I can wear for several years. The next year rolls around and I still love the blouse. I want to freshen up my wardrobe and look in my closet to see what I would really make good use of. I realize that I would wear that blouse and a couple other tops in more situations if I had a casual sweater to throw on top of it. So now I go shopping, looking for a sweater that will match what I already own. But I face frustration. The colors have completely changed over at the store I bought the blouse, and now the sweaters wouldn’t really work with what I have. But they sell blouses that do…
adding temptation onto that frustration.
Second situation. I decide to buy a nice SLR camera. Back in the days of film, I had a quality camera with a good selection of lenses. I search for a new camera body that will still allow me to use my old lenses, since those are pricey. Hurray! I find that Pentax makes cameras that are backwards compatible with their old lenses. I still do buy one new lens to take advantage of some features, such as auto-focus. I try them out new and old together and have success and love Pentax for it. My loyalty to them is deepened.
The EcoPetites Stance on Slow Fashion
Why not use the tech example and apply that to fashion? The first scenario happens by no accident. New lines are designed to not work with last year’s line, or even last season’s. Too few brands are designing with the intention of people just buying a few choice items a year. Most garments are created and marketed to make you feel like you should overthrow your whole wardrobe every year or two in order to stay on trend.
For EcoPetites, my commitment to slow fashion is not just about making quality clothing that will last, but also designed for the slow fashion approach.
I’m embracing backwards compatibility. As I add new items to the line, it is to expand what I offer, not to overhaul. When adding something new, I look first at what is in the line and ask myself, are there pieces that don’t have much within EcoPetites to match with it? What are customers asking for and how will that new item match within the current offerings?
The Simple Jersey Knit Dress was designed and created to work with the Phoebe Jackets and the Demetria Belts. When making the crop tops, I used the hearts to introduce a shade of pink that I plan on adding into the line. Next in that color will be beanies which I am currently working on. Adding in an accent of color from a previous production run is a nice way to introduce a new color while still making the new item match previous garments.
This is also why you won’t find big deep discount clearance sales. Designing in this way means that I don’t have to just unload to make room for the new. In doing so, I’m reducing waste and overconsumption.
So, hang in there with me. This also means I must build a broader audience within this niche, rather than encouraging a small number of people to toss and replenish every year. If this way of thinking suites your values, help spread the word.