How travel cured my fast fashion habit


Words Emma Vidgen // @emma_vee


In part two of our chat, Wayward co-founder Sarah reveals the unexpected ways having no fixed address for two years changed the way she thought about fashion, shopping and her own personal style.

From owning not one, but three wardrobes to living out of a backpack with just a few basic pieces, Sarah reveals how she made her wardrobe work as hard as it possibly could, how window-shopping sated her sartorial cravings, and what treasures she did bought while she was travelling the world.

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In this episode she chats about what her relationship to fashion and shopping was before she traded it all in for a simpler life (excess, everything!), and the unexpected realisations she had when the time came to part with 80 per cent of her wardrobe, pack her bags and hit the road. “After two or three rounds of ‘finding joy’ I started to realise other faults in my wardrobe. Like, sure that hot pink mini sparked a lot of joy and gave definite Barbie vibes, but it was also made for someone with a much longer torso, had always kind of clung to my thighs and was actually pretty crappy quality. It’s only redeeming quality was that it was ‘fun’ and on-trend. The more ruthless I got, the more I realised just how poorly made, and ill-fitting a lot of my clothes were (thanks mass manufacturing!) and even that was a real eye-opener for me.”

“I also realised that ‘sparking joy’ didn’t translate to a wearble, practical (or small!) travel wardrobe. I wasn’t going on a holiday, I was leaving with no return date. I didn’t need a fun, floral ASOS dress for every instagram photo op along the way - I needed quality pieces that would withstand repetitive wear, and items that could be worn with everything else in my suitcase. Boring? maybe. But I just couldn’t justify the space for pom-pom encrusted four-inch heels* that I ‘may’ wear once. I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a neutral lover, so I got my fun fix by packing big earrings (ironically, with pom poms on them… noticing a theme?), and a couple of bright, patterned silk dresses that packed down to nothing, but could be whipped out when I needed to feel a little more beauty than backpacker. And, when all else failed, a slick of bright lipstick always came in to nix the feral-feeling travel factor.”

*Fear not. I definitely did NOT throw these magnificent shoes out, I’m not a heartless brute. Obviously they sparked a whole lot of joy (and still do), so they just took an extended break in storage instead of coming to Italy.

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Emma Vidgen