pearl hair slide
leeds blogger
emma copland

For the past couple of years I've been slowing down on the amount of fast fashion that I was buying, but this year, my fast fashion buying has come to a complete stop. I don't trawl the 'New In' pages on ASOS/Topshop/Zara anymore, whenever I was I simply wasn't feeling inspired in the same way that I used to be; I don't pop into the stores when I'm in town just to see what's there, instead I'm hunting out bargains in the charity shops or trawling vintage stores. And it's been literal *years* since I even looked on the likes of Missguided or Boohoo, never mind placed an order: that cheap quality life just ain't for me.

And in this time, both my wardrobe and my mind-set have changed in a few different ways.

wedding guest dress

1. My wardrobe is more adventurous
One thing I've noticed, that is definitely heightened in being a blogger and following many other bloggers, is that all of the high street stores are offering the same things and basically, everyone is dressing the same? That Zara dress? The leopard print midi skirt that every brand possible copied? And now the H&M flannel jacket? If anything, it's only served to help me in not buying fast fashion and to look elsewhere. In doing so, I've tried out styles I never have before; I've bought new and exciting prints; I've added some immense textures and colour combos to my wardrobe. Things that you simply can't find on the high street today. These have mostly come from vintage kilo sales (my favourite way to spend a day, check out prelovedkilo for the best) and vintage stores (Blue Rinse is my no.1 if you're in Leeds, FYI). My wardrobe wasn't exactly tame this time last year, I still loved bold colours and a print clash, but now it's much more adventurous and full of unique pieces that I'm simply obsessed with.

topshop dress

2. I feel like I've truly found my personal style
In filling my wardrobe with such unique pieces and trialling styles that I haven't previously, I feel that my personal style has really progressed and I'm much happier in my outfit choices now. I've always loved vintage clothing but never had that much of it in my wardrobe before now and I truly feel that this is the most 'me' it's ever been. Who knew I needed a heavy, oversized denim bomber jacket with detachable sleeves so much? Or an old school St Michael button up leather jacket? And a pair of purple corduroy flares? I'm thriving!

long hair

3. I've become tired of (and unfollowed a lot of) influencers pushing new new new 
My instagram feed is filled with a lot of fashion bloggers/instagrammers because it's where I like to find inspiration; and I get it ok, if you're doing it as a job, you make a lot of your money through sales of current stock and the latest styles. But it's got to a point where I just can't bare to see it forced down my throat incessantly. Sorry! I had to unsubscribe from one YouTube channel recently because they were doing a whole week of haul videos? And it's completely unnecessary. The kind of influencers that I like to follow are the more socially aware ones (as well as the ones doing something a bit different and unique). The people who talk about the conflict they feel in toeing the line between doing advertisements to earn a living and keep doing what they do, and not wanting to promote fast fashion too much; the ones who are advocating vintage shopping; the ones who don't do haul after haul. Some who do this so well are Emma Hill, Alice Catherine, Megan Ellaby and Charlotte Hole. A range of styles for you there!

orange sandals

4. Investing in more expensive, good quality pieces is more attainable
Once you stop placing orders on ASOS every other week, buying cheap clothes that you don't need, simply because they're cheap, you really notice a difference in your bank account. And yeah, some months I still spend silly, when my weekends are filled with finding the nearest kilo sales and hitting up new charity shops I discover, but on the whole my spending is a lot better because I'm actually putting more thought into my purchases now. So with that in mind, saving up to splurge on a nice designer piece every now and again is much easier! I bought myself a new little Stella McCartney bag a couple of months back, which was in the sale anyway, but still not cheap! And I could not have done that so easily, with such little thought, if I was still hauling clothes the way that I was 2 years ago. And that bag will stay in my wardrobe for years, if not ever, so I am far happier spending my money that way!

kala sangam bradford

5. You can still find high street pieces easily if you go second-hand
If there's a piece in Topshop that you really love but don't want to give your money to, then you can (most probably) still get it! Just hit up eBay or Depop instead! That's where I found this dream of a dress: it's a Topshop number I got second-hand, barely worn and in perfect condition, from Depop. Yeah some things on there are tatty and you might have to deal with the worst kinds of people if you're selling, but on the whole, it is great for a bargain: in particular a high street bargain. And so much better for the environment!

Loves. Emma.