fbpx

Bronagh Loughlin

August 3, 2020

“How I quit fast fashion” with Fionnuala Jones

“How I quit fast fashion” with Fionnuala Jones

Bronagh Loughlin

August 3, 2020
Interested in how someone could quit fast fashion, cold-turkey?  Today’s article is all about journalist, podcast host and social media personality Fionnuala Jones and the way in which she transformed her shopping habits towards having a supremely sustainable wardrobe. 

Hopping onboard the bandwagon

It was just over a year ago when Fionnuala dedicated a whole episode of her Bandwagons podcast to what has been dubbed the biggest bandwagon of the last few years; Sustainability. She explains, “I was becoming more aware of the topic of sustainability from social media and found myself suddenly starting to understand the impact that my buying was having”. 

After the podcast, Fionnuala decided to give sustainable fashion a shot, deciding to bring her fast fashion purchases to a complete halt. “I just wanted to see how long I could do it for or see how difficult I would find it”. 

Fionnuala found the decision to only buy clothes in a sustainable way (ie. secondhand via charity shops, vintage shops and Depop) immediately impacted her in a positive way. She explains, “It just became a real thing for me and I really held myself accountable which I’m very proud of”.

Fionnuala Jones

Shopping habits before

Whilst not a “die-hard fast fashion shopper” before, Fionnuala did rely on the high street because of two factors: convenience, and vintage fashion’s frequently inaccessible price point.  Fionnuala admits that she often experienced guilt around spending a lot of money on clothes, which would explain her penchant for the Sales rail. That being said, this guilt is also what lead her to embracing the charity shops with such open arms. Fionnuala explains, “I couldn’t believe how good the quality of the clothing was, and half the time you end up paying so little money for it! I was hooked.”. 

Sustainability challenges

The biggest challenge? “Altering my original chain of thinking and consciously amending my purchasing decisions.” Fionnuala recalls one particular occasion with her sister, who was due to get married, and was suggesting various high street shops that Fionnuala might source a dress from, “and I just had to be like, I can’t engage with this”. 

Fionnuala recalls how her new sustainable fashion challenge required a sudden halt on all online shopping. “I had to almost tell myself that the internet doesn’t exist anymore, none of these sites exist”. Without the usual ease of purchasing endless amounts of clothing at the tap of a button, Fionnuala had to think outside the box and explore the options that lurked beyond her usual solutions.

At this point, she went down two supremely sustainable routes; rental and renewal. Fionnuala found some fantastic pieces in rental boutiques such as Dublin’s Rag Revolution and started to see clothes for the potential they had within, not just for what they looked like at face value. Fionnuala started to approach clothing item differently; enjoying the potential that upcycling and tailoring clothes to fit her shape and preferences leant. “For example, a plain dress suddenly presented so many possibilities; I’d look at it and think can I alter this so it’s a bit jazzier for a wedding?”. 

It gets easier with time

Fionnuala feels sustainability has helped her to discover her own personal style. She says, sustainable fashion “helped me realise my own individual style and kind of led me away from being so trend-driven”. 

Sustainability has also helped Fionnuala find some great, one-of-a-kind pieces. She recalls one garment in particular that featured on our Thrift Stories series back in 2019. She recalls, “I remember I shared my red power suit that I got from a Saint Vincent DePaul charity shop; an item that set the standard I now set everything else against; it needs to be this quality, it needs to fit in like this does, it needs to be this amazing”. 

Fionnuala recognises that sustainable fashion can be challenging, although it becomes easier with time. She also feels that we need to get better at looking in our wardrobes before making a purchase. She explains, “You’d be surprised what you have there, either in its original guise or maybe look at it in a different way and think about how you might be able to upcycle”. As far as Fionnuala is concerned,  the world is our oyster when it comes to our wardrobes.

Discovering my personal style

Fionnuala recognises that sustainable fashion can be challenging, although it becomes easier with time. She also feels that we need to get better at looking in our wardrobes before making a purchase.

She explains, “You’d be surprised what you have there, either in its original guise or maybe look at it in a different way and think about how you might be able to upcycle”. As far as Fionnuala is concerned,  the world is our oyster when it comes to our wardrobes.

Fionnuala’s go-to sources for vintage fashion