The #30Wears campaign from Eco Age's Livia Firth highlights how important it is to pick our clothing, shoes and bags carefully – only buying what we know we'll wear at the very least, 30 times. In an ever fastening fashion industry, this campaign is deeply important.
What is the #30Wears campaign?
Created by Livia Firth, a climate and sustainable fashion advocate behind Eco Age, the 30 Wears campaign exists to make people consider their purchases more carefully.
Firth states that “what’s happened to us as consumers is we now buy on impulse... We don’t really care about what we buy. We buy and discard. The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, ‘will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?’ If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you’d be surprised how many times you say no.”
While there are more questions we hope you consider before buying shoes, like 'who made these shoes?', and 'what are they made of – is the material cruelty free and sustainable?', Firth's question is a deeply important one, as it helps slow down the pace of the fashion industry.
What is slow fashion, and why does it matter?
Slow fashion exists in opposition to our current fashion system, which overall, is fast, producing far more than the planet can afford.
Over-production and over-consumption are major environmental issues, because we live on a finite planet – we can't keep taking from it without giving back.
Even if we are buying shoes and clothes made with sustainable materials, if we are buying endless amounts of them, this isn't really sustainable. It's estimated by that each year, 150 billion garments are produced.
Fast facts on fashion, over-production and waste
- There are now over 52 micro-seasons in the fashion industry, with ultra-fast fashion brands releasing new clothes weekly. We used to have four fashion seasons, just like seasons of weather.
- In the last 15 years, we've worn our clothes less than ever before, throwing them out faster. Meanwhile, the production of clothing has doubled.
- People only wear about 50% of their wardrobes, and around the world, a garbage truck full of textiles are sent to landfill, every single second. In Australia alone, 25 million pairs of shoes are sent to landfill each year.
Slow fashion also allows for more ethical and sustainable fashion. We wear less of our wardrobes than we think.
How do we take part in slow fashion?
There are lots of ways to take part in slow fashion – and you don't need to buy anything to do so. Caring for the shoes and clothes you already have is the best way to slow down the pace of the fashion industry! If you're looking for tips on how to care for your vegan shoes – here's how.
We can also take part in slow fashion by buying pre-loved first, by considering if we would wear something 30 times (at the very least), and by making sure we sit on a purchase decision, making sure we really love something before we buy it. If you love something, why not wait a week before buying it, just to make sure it's not an impulse buy?
But isn't slow fashion more expensive?
Slow fashion is important because it allows for more sustainable and ethical fashion production and consumption. Exploitation of the planet, people and animals has allowed fashion to become so fast and wasteful.
If brands paid garment workers living wages, they likely would not be able to produce as many products. Similarly, if they had to pay for sustainably made, cruelty-free materials, rather than cheap, harmful and even toxic materials, this would make their production more expensive.
All of this means that yes, slow, sustainable and ethical fashion is more expensive. That's because we are paying the true cost of our clothes, shoes and bags. When we buy fast fashion, that price is paid by exploited workers, a trashed planet, and suffering animals.
While you might be spending more money on a pair of shoes created with slow fashion values in mind, the point is that you will be buying less pairs of shoes, less often too – and these expenses begin to balance out (especially when we remember how infrequently so many of us wear a lot of our closets).
What makes a slow fashion shoe?
If you're looking to join in with the slow fashion movement, and the #30Wears campaign next time your shop, look for shoes that:
- Are timelessly stylish, not just trendy right now. You want to be able to love and wear these shoes for years to come!
- Are made well. This means they seem sturdy, they're not flimsy or held together sparsely. Some shoes are also made so that they can be more easily repaired. For example, many of our shoes from Brave GentleMan and other brands are not only made with high quality stitched soles for extra strength and longevity, but so that in years to come, you can replace the entire sole at a cobbler. Many shoes aren't made with the ability to replace soles properly, despite them all wearing out over time as we walk.
- Are made of high quality, durable materials. Here's what we mean: when it comes to vegan leather shoes, fast fashion brands often use cheap PVC that peels and wears out quickly. More sustainable vegan leather alternatives are also made to a higher quality, lasting longer and not peeling in the same way. Opt for these as much as possible.
- You absolutely love. Slow fashion should make you feel happier with what you wear!