As the tides turn against fast fashion's unsustainable practices, a new kind of influencer is rising to prominence: the slow fashion advocate. Jen Pistor stands among these change-makers, who are reshaping our relationship with clothes. At The Good Tee, we absolutely love how these influencers, including Jen, intertwine sustainability, ethics, and style. They show us a path where fashion is about more than just consumption; it's about connection – with our clothes, the artisans who make them, and the environment. Come along as we interview Jen Pistor and learn more about her contributions to this movement and discover how slow fashion influencers are stitching together a more sustainable and ethical world.
How did you first become interested in slow fashion and sustainable style, and what inspired you to start sharing it on Instagram?
I’ve been involved in the fashion industry for the past 33 years. I got my start modelling when I was 10 and have been a lover of fashion ever since. After getting my education in Fashion Marketing and working in the industry for decades, I watched a life changing documentary called The True Cost by Andrew Morgan. When I finally came face to face with the dark truths of the garment industry, I changed everything. I had already been making changes in other areas of my life to be more sustainable, so why not with my wardrobe. This began the shift of my content on my blog and social media to go from a shopping focus to an informative and style focus. I wanted to share with others what I had learned, share with them my journey to doing better, and introduce them to the wonderful world of slow fashion.
What does "sustainable fashion" mean to you, and how do you incorporate its principles into your personal style and daily life?
To me, sustainable fashion is about buying less and buying better. By less, I mean to no longer feel that urge or pressure to be getting a new wardrobe each season. It’s been about letting go of following trends and leaning into my own personal style. Sustainable fashion should be about wearing the clothes you already own more, choosing to thrift and source secondhand whenever possible, and supporting smaller brands who care about the planet and the people living in it. Sustainable fashion means selecting items that can be traced and have ethical manufacturing practices. I also think that when we shop better and smarter, we become more content with our wardrobes and desire less excess.
As an influencer, what challenges have you faced in promoting slow fashion, and how do you overcome them?
One of the comments I hear often is when people say they can’t afford slow fashion. I realize now that there is a perception that to be a part of this movement means purchasing all new things and starting over, when that’s simply not true. When I first started moving away from fast fashion and towards slow fashion, I was sure the best way to do that was to buy a bunch of new clothes that aligned with my sustainable mindset. I desperately wanted to erase my old ways by purging my closet and getting rid of my previous purchases to make room for my new sustainable wardrobe. How wrong I was. I soon learned this quote, “The most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own.” (I’m not sure who it was who first said this.) It is something I repeat to myself often, especially when that shopping urge kicks in. These items have already been purchased, so wear them! Once we start really utilizing our wardrobes better plus curating a closet of only items we love and that fit us, our personal style emerges and the whole slow fashion thing feels less daunting. My approach to promoting slow fashion is to lead by example, share my wins and challenges, and promote secondhand shopping all while making sustainable brand introductions along the way.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a slow fashion influencer?
From time to time I get these beautiful messages from followers, sharing their own personal slow fashion wins. Messages about skipping buying a dress for a wedding and wearing something they own already. Messages from folks excited to have been introduced to a sustainable brand they hadn’t heard of before and are now loving having a new place to shop that they feel good about. As a micro-influencer, it can be hard to gauge your impact you are having on others. The engagement can be low, the algorithm can feel like it’s against you, but then you get a message from someone thanking you for helping them shop less and buy better. It’s those moments that make it all feel worthwhile.
What are some practical tips you can offer to your followers who want to transition from fast fashion to a more sustainable and conscious approach?
Great question! There are simple things we can do when it comes to being more sustainable with our clothes.
- Wear what you already own. It’s there, you chose it, wear it. The more we wear a garment, the more we lessen its impact on the planet.
- Slow down and stop shopping at a rapid rate. (Also, show yourself grace. This takes time. I still have those shopping urges, and probably shop more than I should. It’s ongoing work.) Once we understand that there will always be another collection or another sale and that we aren’t actually missing out on anything by not shopping, you soon realize the abundance you already have.
- Shop secondhand. This can be through thrifting, through an online curated shop, from a consignment shop, or through a resale app. There are so many amazing clothes already produced on this planet and choosing secondhand can have a very positive impact. The treasures and unique items I find while thrifting are those magic pieces that have given me my own unique style.
- Get creative with your styling. Challenge yourself to style something like a cardigan or dress multiple ways. This is where personal style is born. If you need help with your creativity, seek out inspiration. Blogs, slow fashion YouTubers and influencers, Pinterest, are some great places to start.
- Care for and cherish your clothes. I have a newfound appreciation for my clothes. I often do a little outfit inventory when I get dressed. I think of how I acquired each garment, ask myself “Who made my clothes?”, I think about what fabric it’s made out of, and give it some thoughtful love. By laundering our clothes properly, mending items, and caring for them properly, they will last us longer too. When we are spending the money on garments, we should be caring for them to maximize their time in our wardrobes. Care for all clothing equally. I treat my old fast fashion and thrifted pieces with love and care just like my more expensive small, sustainable brand pieces.
As someone who is working as an influencer in this slow fashion space, I’ll be the first to say that I’m doing this all imperfectly. I am constantly learning more about the harms of the industry and tweaking my behavior as I learn. As a Slow Fashion Influencer, I’m committed to introducing folks to sustainable and ethical brands, like The Good Tee, while also sharing with me shopping my own closet, and secondhand shopping finds.
In a world often fixated on fast fashion, Jen Pistor embodies a transformation toward mindful clothing choices. Her journey resonates deeply with The Good Tee's ethos, aligning values that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. Jen's transition from industry immersion to advocating for sustainable fashion mirrors The Good Tee's commitment to promoting fewer, meaningful purchases over trends. Both emphasize the importance of cherishing existing garments, sourcing second hand, and supporting ethical brands. Like Jen, The Good Tee champions a shift in perspective – it's not just about style; it's about forging connections with our clothes and their impact on the world. Their shared dedication underscores the transformative power of conscious choices in the fashion landscape. Jen Pistor and The Good Tee stand as beacons, advocating for a more ethical, sustainable future in fashion.
Follow Jen to learn more about sustainable style and slow fashion tips on her website and social media platforms below!
Tik Tok: @jenpistor