What we learned at Jane Milburn's ‘How To Be A Slow Fashion Practitioner'

By Callan Barnes, Biome Collective Coordinator Slow Fashion is a concept gaining momentum in the current climate of conscious consumption and sustainable living. But what really IS ‘slow fashion'? And how do we live it? Recently at The Biome Collective in Paddington we had a visit from local legend and change-maker Jane Milburn who shared some answers to these pertinent questions. With a background in agricultural science and rural communications, Jane is well equipped to share the realities of our current climate crisis and the very real impact we have as consumers. Jane now works as a sustainability consultant, presents at workshops, and advocates through writing, speaking, and leadership. She is an avid sewer and mender with an acute sense of her own personal style and motivation to dress the way she does. Jane spoke of some practical tips on how to take action and truly be a ‘slow fashion practitioner'. Jane believes that ‘slow clothing' is a philosophy and shared her 10 point Slow Clothing Manifesto. It suggests the following: Think. Natural. Quality. Local. Few. Care. Make. Revive. Adapt. Salvage. Many of us are already familiar with the concept of ‘slow fashion' and the idea that we should be buying less and caring more about the items already in our wardrobe. Even the harsh realities of the commercial fashion industry are common knowledge these days. So Jane delved deeper and offered further, more hopeful tools in the quest to not only reduce consumption, but to find meaning in what we wear.

Jane urged us to discover our signature style. To unfollow fashion trends and explore how we can personally find joy in dressing.

By connecting with, and developing our own sense of style, we are more inclined to curate a wardrobe that is genuinely fulfilling. A wardrobe consisting of items that we wear more often, mend when broken, or adapt and repurpose when at the end of their first life. Adopting such an approach inevitably leads to becoming attached to our clothing. Jane spoke of individual items of clothing and accessories with stories and connection. Items passed on from a friend, something invested in from a local maker who you know personally, vintage finds, handmade, repurposed family heirlooms, visible mending by your own hands. These are profound and touching realities for a slow clothing practitioner. Finding meaning in what we wear leads us to be less inclined to shop. No longer drawn to buying more in an endless cycle of meaningless consumption, as we become fulfilled by the clothes we already love and care for.

Clothes with connection.

So the next time your favourite jeans rip at the knee, have a go at mending them with a patch of scrap fabric. You'll learn a new skill, feel empowered, receive compliments on your cool jeans, and do the planet a favour. Jane will be proud. Clothes swaps are the perfect opportunity to refresh your wardrobe in a sustainable way, and we host regular clothes swap events at our Brisbane and Gold Coast stores.! Come exercise your slow fashion philosophy and be a part of a circular clothing economy! See dates and book tickets here > You can find more from Jane on her Facebook and Instagram pages as ‘Textile Beat' and in her book ‘Slow Clothing: Finding meaning in what we wear'. Shop Biome's range of slow and ethical fashion here >
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