Slow fashion: all the clothes I bought in 2020

Originally, I had planned to do a low buy year this year for clothing: a year in which you buy very little to nothing and only what you need. I also wanted to buy almost everything second-hand. But that didn’t really happen. Because of Covid, going to thrift shops and consignment stores suddenly wasn’t an option anymore. And when I did my closet declutter back in the spring, I found out I gained some weight and suddenly did not fit into quite some of my summer clothes anymore. So I ended up buying more clothes than I was planning to.

That being said, I still tried to look for more sustainable options first and only buy things I really loved or needed. I also did end up being able to buy two second-hand items, as European webshop Zalando has started selling pre-owned clothes in October. Instead of individual sellers selling their clothes, it is an online consignment store – so all the items have been checked for quality and can be returned. This way, it is less of a risk to buy second-hand items online.

Anyway, let’s get into the clothes I bought this year. I purchased a total of 11 items, not counting underwear and socks. Please don’t mind the wrinkles in the pictures – ironing is not exactly my hobby 😉

Linen pants

A pair of light laurel green linen pants

Last year, I bought a pair of grey linen pants from H&M, and I loved them so much that this year, I decided to buy this green pair as well. I have worn both pairs quite a lot this summer!

Linen shorts

A pair of navy linen shorts

I also needed a new pair of shorts, and I had been wanting a linen pair for a while now – so I bought this navy one from H&M. It is a mix of linen and viscose, which makes it feel softer than 100% linen. It also makes it a little less sustainable, but I have gotten a lot of use out of it this summer and I know I will wear it for several summers to come.

Green top

A laurel green top

This green top by ONLY is made from 100% EcoVero, a sustainable version of viscose. I wear t-shirts a lot in the summer, but I was lacking more dressy tops. Despite the top being made from a sustainable fabric, ONLY’s rating on Good on You has recently been lowered to “not good enough”, so I would not buy there anymore now.

Black chino

A pair of black chinos

The chino I had did not fit me anymore, so I needed to buy a new one. I really wanted a black one because it goes with almost anything, but unfortunately I couldn’t find one I liked from a sustainable brand or fabric. So I ended up buying this cotton one from H&M, and I have worn it quite a lot this summer.

Two summer dresses

Two sleeveless summer dresses: the left one has a blue-white paisley pattern, and the right one is navy blue with large pink and green flowers on it

In my spring declutter I also decluttered a couple of summer dresses that did not fit me anymore. So I ordered these two dresses from ONLY, also made from EcoVero. I really loved the fit of these, being a little bit longer in the back, which is why I kept both. Because it was towards the end of the summer when I bought these, I did not get a lot of wear out of them yet. But I am planning to wear the paisley-patterned one a lot as an everyday summer dress, and keep the flower-patterned one mostly for special occasions.

Cashmere sweater

A navy blue cashmere sweater

I had been looking for a new navy sweater for a while now, but couldn’t find any that I liked – until I found this one from C&A. Cashmere is not necessarily the most sustainable fabric – but it is quite durable and will always be in style, which still makes it a pretty sustainable purchase. And it is super warm and soft too, so I just want to wear it all the time.

Green blouse & blue blouse

Two long-sleeved blouses: the left one is dark green with small white flowers on it, the right one is navy blue with small pink flowers and blue cats sitting on branches

When I ordered the cashmere sweater, I also ordered this green viscose blouse from C&A. While this blouse is not sustainable, I really love it. As I am still figuring out my style, I sometimes allow myself purchases like this one to try out something new. It also gives me a slightly dressier long-sleeve option, which was still lacking in my closet.

The blue blouse is my first second-hand purchase from Zalando. It is originally by ArmedAngels, a sustainable and ethical German brand. There is no label saying what fabric it is made of, but I would guess it’s Tencel. It is super soft, and it has flowers and cats on it – so it pretty much felt like it had my name on it.

Blue jeans

A pair of blue jeans

I also bought this sustainable pair of high-waisted jeans from ArmedAngels. It is made from sustainable cotton, Tencel, recycled polyester and elastan. The fabric feels like super high quality, and is also really soft. The fit is absolutely perfect as well. These jeans are not exactly cheap – around the same price as a pair of Levi’s – but I definitely think they’re worth the price.

Green cardigan

A cardigan in a medium olive green

And most recently, I bought this second-hand cardigan from Zalando. It is originally by Hollister, which is not a brand I would ever buy new from. But the cardigan is super warm and soft, and matches with a lot of different items in my closet which makes it really versatile. I absolutely love it and have worn it several times already.

So those were all the clothes I bought in 2020. It still feels like quite a lot to me – but the truth is that even if you try to minimize your purchases, sometimes you just need to buy new clothes because of weight fluctuations or old clothes wearing out. As I am also figuring out my style and working towards my perfect wardrobe, sometimes I allow myself to buy something new that I do not necessarily need.

In general, I feel like I am slowly being more intentional with my purchases and getting closer to my perfect wardrobe. I am definitely not there yet when it comes to sustainability, but I am always working towards being a more ethical and sustainable consumer. We can’t all be perfect, but I believe we can try to do the best that we can within our budgets.


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