Slow Fashion October — get ready!

Slow Fashion October — get ready!

Ok, lovelies. Here’s my outline for Slow Fashion October (previously discussed here and here). There’s nothing formal or prescriptive about this — you can do as much or as little as you like; use my prompts or ignore them entirely. Whether you just spend the month reading along and pondering these topics, or you take specific steps of some kind with regard to your wardrobe, or you address any or all of these issues in whatever way — on your blog or Instagram or around the table at your local yarn/fabric shop or wherever — it’s all entirely up to you. I just want to present a little bit of a framework for those who find it useful.

Slow Fashion is a big subject, and I want every week to be inclusive of everyone who might be interested — from sewers and knitters to thrifters and menders and anyone just trying to be more mindful and informed about where their clothes are coming from and what environmental impact their buying habits have. So I’ve broken the month down into weekly themes that encompass everyone, hopefully—

“Week” 1,  October 1-4: YOU
First let’s introduce ourselves: Where are you at with all this / What first got you interested in Slow Fashion / What are your skills / What do you hope to get out of Slow Fashion October / What are your personal goals for the month / Do you have a special project you plan to tackle this month?

Week 2, October 5-11: SMALL
handmade / living with less / quality over quantity / capsule wardrobe / indie fashion / small-batch makers / sustainability

Week 3, October 12-18: LOVED
proudest accomplishment / most loved item / most frequently worn item / thing you saved up for / investment pieces / thing you worked a long time on / oldest thing that’s still in rotation

Week 4, October 19-25: WORN
second-hand / mending / caring for things / laundering for longevity / design for longevity (bucking trends, quality materials …) / heirlooms

Week 5, October 26-31: KNOWN
favorite sustainable resources / “local” / traceable fabric and yarn origins / traceable garment origins / reference books, films, videos

Again, use this if it’s helpful, or take a whole different approach if you like. There’s no right or wrong. However you choose to go about it, if you’re sharing publicly use pingbacks or leave comments with URLs here so everyone can see. And also be sure to use the hashtag #slowfashionoctober to connect with others who are participating. I’ve also created an official Instagram account, @slowfashionoctober, so go ahead and follow if you’re there! I’ll fire that up on October 1 for general announcements and highlighting great posts and such. And of course I’ll be posting my own contributions on my @karentempler feed, in addition to all the blog content.

I’m sure you’ll all have a ton of brilliant ides and angles I haven’t thought of, so please be sure to weigh in below. And I’m so excited to see what everyone comes up with next month!

138 thoughts on “Slow Fashion October — get ready!

  1. I am so excited for this… and I love the thoughtfulness of the weeks’ keywords! Already have some neat pieces in mind to celebrate – and a few to make. I’m also going to put the book “Overdressed” into my gym-reading queue, to help solidify the “why.”

    Personally, I hope to cast on one new sweater project – upon which I shall knit slowly (!) and with great affection – and sew several dresses!

    Thanks for organizing this, K. It’s a great reminder that there’s a larger, global, interpersonal ‘why’ that can form the background of our making.

  2. I love this idea, Karen! I’m always scouring Instagram and Facebook for ideas, new artists, inspiration, etc. Now it’ll be all in one hashtag!

    What I’ll probably focus on is completing my Amanda Cardigan with care, replacing the button band on my Acer cardigan (I did a shoddy job) and frogging an unwearable sweater (didn’t take the time to ensure a good fit). Overall, my focus will be on increasing the wearability of what I make that month.

  3. I am so thankful for the thoughtful planning that you have put into this! I love the intention and am going to make some notes on your notes in my Fashionary. I love to be organized when I can, and you have created a perfect framework for this (life) long term project.

  4. Looking forward to it! Meanwhile, in Week 2: Did you mean to say “quality over quantity?”

    Week 2, October 5-11: SMALL
    handmade / living with less / quantity over quality

  5. I love this so much. I would love to spend October going through my stash (even as small as it is) and figuring out projects I can make with what I have, spending time learning to tailor clothes I want to wear, but don’t, and really thinking through what I want my wardrobe to look like. Right now it’s a weird mix of clothes I used to wear in college, thrifted finds from the past few years and business clothes I won’t ever wear. And starting to knit a sweater for my husband!

  6. I’m really excited about participating and seeing what everyone has to say and share! Thank you for making this happen, Karen, I think it’s a great idea.

  7. It’s very interesting and the scheme you took time to set is an inspiring frame to lead a reflexion ! I would like to think of what i need and what fits me (in terms of good feeling inside). More and more, i’m conscious that we don’t need so much in terms of number of garments … i’m only wearing the clothes i feel comfy in and i don’t have a lot … i have the same kind of reflection for my baby wardrobe, if i can manage to encircle what she needs, i would have a chance to make it in time … and it’s not so longer to make a few selected items than to look for it and buy it … it’s harder for my older kids, too “quick fashion involved” for me to be able to follow …
    But making doesn’t mean necessarily ethical approach since sometimes it’s not easy to know where the fabrics come from and how they are processed … Moreover, as @wintiliviknits said on instagram homemaking doesn’t prevent you from overbuying.
    Lately, i started to be very preoccupied by wool ethical sourcing, it’s a very fascinating topic. I learned a lot of new things and i want to pursue my quest of a better knowledge and a better consuming attitude. I realized that anyway, knitting is a slow process, so you don’t have to buy fast !!
    That is in a few messy words what i would like to think about during Slow Fashion October.
    Thank you Karen for giving a whole meaning frame for it.


  8. Exciting project, plus great topics for a blog, with a recap each week. I plan to reorganize my wardrobe, sort things out because I have tons of stuff accumulated over the years. I would also love to finally get started with a very simple sewing project, to actually learn how to sew. And I have an aran sweater to knit before the cold hits, with good planning I could probably knit it in a month. OK, planning for October is on.

  9. This looks great! Thank you!
    I look forward to participate and see other people input too. the first thing that came to my mind is that hopefully I will make time to sew those things I have been thinking of for so long.. We’ll see… :)

  10. Oh! I’m going to try and remember to blog about this -using your keywords as prompts in October. I am back into garment making again since my sewing room re-do is almost complete and I have many projects lined up for the machine, knitting needles, and crochet hooks!

  11. This challenge is simple enough when it comes to making clothes for myself; I’m happy to wear handmade items and take care when washing them. I’d love to see how this idea can extend to family members (maybe a good New Year’s challenge for me?) because I have a husband and two grade school kids who are not all about hand made, plus those kids do things like grow an inch in a month’s time and roll around in the dirt for fun, which is not so friendly for slow fashion and handmade garments requiring special care. Something to contemplate for sure.

  12. First and most importantly, thanks for making this happen! I’m so excited to see what’s going to happen on the instagram feed! I’m sure it will be inspirational!

    I still have to remake some great vintage dresses I bought years ago, and I want to rethink / reorganise my wardrobe… Not sure if I will participate on Instagram but it’s giving me inspiration and stuff to think about already!

  13. I have been so looking forward to see your plans for this, and they do not disappoint! I’m very excited to take part in this, both from a making and thinking point of view and because I’ve been trying get back into a blogging routine and I think this will help with that.

    And thank you for posting the themes/prompts early! I have been thinking about these issues so much over the last year and I’m glad to have the time to get my thoughts (and some photos) in order.

  14. I’m a recent returnee to knitting and sewing. Sourcing my own yarn and fabric has opened my eyes to the choices we make with our clothing. I’m looking forward to learning more through your blog.

  15. Karen, you and your blogging has inspired me to return to garment making, after 20+ years of just quilting. Now retired, I’m able to devote more time to me in the sewing room. I’m also a knitter and devotee to new, different and quirky notions, so keep it all comin’!

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  20. I’m so excited about this! October is a really busy month so I don’t think I’ll manage to get any actual making done (knitting or sewing) for myself. But I think I’ll try to wear at least one handmade item each day (whether it’s a shirt I’ve sewn, hand knitted socks, etc.) and I definitely want to blog about the weekly themes. Thank you for making this happen!

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  22. thank you very much for your efforts to give ‘slow fashion october’ a frame. a frame, that does not only mean joyful making of something but also includes a lot of reflection on why we wear what.
    it’ll be a pleasure to participate and to read other participants contribution.

  23. “— from sewers and knitters to thrifters and menders and anyone just trying to be more mindful and informed about where their clothes are coming from and what environmental impact their buying habits have.” Brilliant approach to countering consumerism; I appreciate the ideas/prompts, they will make great guidelines for me. I have recently found accounts on IG that offer many ‘behind-the-scenes’ images and I am awestruck and fascinated by denim, wool, linen, and so on. My lifestyle for years had been ‘thrift’, ‘make-do’, ‘make-my-own’; got away from that lifestyle for awhile and then it got away from me…’Slow Fashion October’ will be helpful in bringing my lifestyle in line with those values again. Thanks so much Karen!

  24. I have been rebuilding my wardrobe after years of ignoring it pretty much while gaining and losing weight. I’ve been trying to be mindful – shopping secondhand, tracking wears vs cost, doing small alterations. Now I want to try my hand at remaking some thrift store finds as well as cutting my clothing costs even more. Not sure what the project will be yet.

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  28. Since discovering Me-Made May this year, I’ve been thinking about making and personalizing and wearing clothes. It’s been important to me since I was a little kid, since my grandmother made much of my clothing and I started knitting in high school. I’m grateful for Slow Fashion October, since it’s the much-needed push towards solidifying some of those thoughts and making more concrete goals surrounding what I have, what I buy, and how I think about what I put on my body. Lots to ponder, lots to learn. Thank you! I’m already thinking deeply about each week’s topics, and I’m excited to put it all into action!

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  32. Thanks so much, Karen, for organizing this important movement into a month of celebrating Slow Fashion! Such a wonderful way to reflect and get excited about building your own wardrobe.

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  36. I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thought lately so your collective focus for the month of October comes at an amazing time. Looking forward to it. I’ll be working on finishing my design for an upcoming MKAL.

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  40. I’m in (in French)! This is a great opportunity to sort my wardrobe, really think about my future projects (sewing & knitting) and enjoy the crafty side of life, thank you!

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  58. Great idea – have been following project 333 and trying to be more mindful about the clothes I wear. Love the idea of a whole month devoted to slow fashion and looking forward to installments about second-hand clothing (my favourite topic!). Have just posted about Slow Fashion October and my latest installment of Project 333

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  71. Always a little late to the party, but my heart is so in this! This month I am finishing my Ramona cardigan, a Dottie Angel Frock, and a pair of Blackrose socks. I am also planning to wear at least one handmade item (by me or by someone else) in every outfit for the month of November…

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