Mia (otherwise known as @mimis.garms) sells second-hand clothes on her Depop shop under the name Mia Cotton. On her Instagram, Mia shares her gorgeous outfits alongside inspiring captions about creativity and maintaining integrity and individual style. Mia is also an artist, exploring themes of corruption and geo—political issues.
Here she chats with us about all things slow-fashion…
Who/What are your major fashion influences?
I always really loved vintage clothing and 90s vibes, probably because I have always been nostalgic about my childhood, but also because I was into hip hop and would listen to artists such as Mac Miller and Tyler the Creator who I think massively inspired my style as a teenager. I was also obsessed with Rihanna’s style growing up. Old films, tv shows, even old photographs of my mum and her friends. I generally just observe the world around me, friends and passers-by; these are my main sources of inspiration!
Tell us about your second-hand clothing journey
Where I grew up in Essex, there was always a lot of pressure to dress or look a certain way, styles were very much fast fashion and boutique orientated, so I always liked to challenge the norm. I would be so excited for day trips to London because it meant that I could go to Camden where there were vintage shops like Rokit.
I began charity shopping when my mum told me that her friend always finds really good things. I didn’t know what to expect, but she took me to a couple and I found a big vintage denim jacket and two baggy crewneck jumpers. This was the catalyst and is what inspired me to continue doing so when I came to uni and found myself in very difficult financial situations.
I replaced shopping in normal high street shops with charity shops and still maintained a unique and trendy style, people would often ask me where I got my clothes from and it would feel great to say a charity shop – it would always shock people! I then became a bit addicted and my only solution to my ever-growing pile of clothes was to start selling.
You’ve been into second-hand clothing for a while, is it strange to see how it’s blown up so much recently?
It isn’t so much strange, as I have had so much belief in the movement in terms of how much positive impact is possible on the fashion industry. However, greenwashing is happening everywhere, big corporations are just using the movement as a marketing tactic, further oppressing independents. If people really want to see change, they shouldn’t praise mega corporations such as ASDA for doing the odd ‘sustainable’ campaign. They should be supporting independents who can directly impact their local community.
How do you feel social media effects your relationship with fashion?
I really don’t like the way social media makes people obsessed with brands. I wear brands kind of ironically because I buy them so cheap, but influencer culture means that high end brands become more desirable, and I believe this has a negative effect on lower class communities. There is too much importance put on brand names, when that’s literally all they are; a label. It means nothing.
What do you wish more people understood about slow-fashion?
I wish more people would understand the potential it has to actually replace fast fashion. People really underestimate the actual amount of clothing that is already out there and how creative you can be with outfits. There is also so much potential for slow-fashion to provide more creative jobs, which is a big one for me, as I believe being in a fulfilling job strongly relates to mental health. And most of all, people underestimate how fun it actually is to thrift. There are too many people who still have a pretentious view of second hand clothing.
If you have an article you’d like to write about anything slow-fashion related, do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Big Sister Swap is a sustainable fashion platform, allowing users to swap their unwanted clothes for pre-loved hand-picked clothes in return