If we were to describe slow fashion to a foodie, it would best be described as the equivalent of farm-to-table food, whereas fast-fashion would be the equivalent of fast food.
"Slow fashion," a term coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007, is by many perceived as the future of clothing - and one that will not leave you full of buyer's remorse. The term is based on a sustainable fashion revolution aiming to provide consumers with the ability to style themselves in pieces that have been ethically produced, giving great care to both the environment and the workers who produce such fashion items, resulting in the creation of garments that are less wasteful of the earth's resources. Fast fashion, on the other hand, usually cause a fuzzy, warm feeling the moment a purchase is made and then leaves you with a gloomy feeling of regret a few moments (or months) following. It is also often produced under poor working conditions, with toxic processes which results in poor quality materials within an ethically deficient workplace. Not exactly the perfect recipe for the timeless wardrobe you're on the lookout for.
Slow fashion is instead about evolving a personal style and incorporating consciousness into fashion, not manically following seasonal trends but rather staying true to yourself. This is why we put together this little list, to highlight the nine things you need to know about slow fashion!
P.S. after reading, you'll realise it's the new way forward both in terms of style and ethics - yay! D.S.
1. Slow Fashion is fashion with a conscious.
Slow fashion does not only value the final aesthetics of a garment but nestles itself further into the production process, with a goal of creating a safe and equal working environment. This means that workers are rewarded with fair pay for their work and that there is no child labour. Basically, it's fashion woven with integrity.
Also, as garment production is one of the most female dominated sectors, fighting for fair pay for these workers should be a priority for fashion lovers and feminists worldwide.
2. Slow Fashion is your second skin.
With clothing touching your skin almost all of the time, the garments you wear typically act as your second skin. Therefore, wouldn't you want to know that what you are putting on you or your loved one's skin is free from harmful toxins and pesticides? In slow fashion, not only is the ethics behind clothing production considered, but the environmental impact on both humans and nature is, as well. This means that slow fashion is produced using eco-friendly materials (bamboo anyone?) and environmentally safe production processes.
The end result is thus something that is gentler to not only your body but the environment, at large.
3. Slow Fashion is innovation.
As slow fashion is still a smaller part of global fashion, innovation is required to create a true fashion revolution. When reviewing conventional clothing production, many of the larger, more established players lack access to ethical and environmentally friendly fabrics and production processes. Instead, it is often smaller firms that are leading the way regarding how to create slow fashion that is sustainable throughout every aspect.
This leads to the creation of new fabrics (hello tencel and bamboo!), new coloring methods, and an ever incessant demand for innovative ways of creating the best possible garments.
4. Slow Fashion is transparent.
Slow fashion is about being able to understand how your clothing is made and what goes into it. It's about companies and individuals being transparent in the way they act, showing that they have nothing to hide and incorporate best practices throughout. This transparency aids you in making informed purchasing decisions and enables you to trust the garments you wear along with the people who produced them. Conventional fashion, on the other hand, often puts up a Chinese wall in order to hide the reasoning behind lower prices per unit since very low prices often means that quality or safety has been compromised along the way.
Slow fashion is about breaking theses barriers and letting the public know there is nothing to hide
5. Slow Fashion is a personal style contributor.
Slow fashion does not focus on what's trendy at this moment but rather on creating a timeless style with garments that you truly love (and that are so you!). Slow fashion encourages mixing and matching garments that you have, to swop clothing with friends, to explore vintage markets, and to indulge in items that you will actually treasure for longer than two weeks.
This encourages creativity and finding a way to express your personal style without binge purchasing pieces you'll wear once. It also allows you to create a personal relationship with the items you have. This makes fashion much more individual and fun rather than copy pasting what you see in stores that month, because in the end, aren't clothes meant to truly represent you?
6. Slow Fashion offers long lasting quality.
Slow fashion is clothing made in harmony with the environment, and therefore, one of the main aims is to create garments that do not tear as soon as they are worn, rather garments that are made to last.
This increase in quality usually comes with a higher price tag, but that shouldn't deter you from making a purchase. Instead, think of the price per wear (ppw) and how this decreases when you buy a piece that you truly love and that will stick around with you for years to come. The price might seem high initially, but after calculating the ppw, the price usually comes down way below the cheap garments you buy and wear once.
7. Slow Fashion requires care (from the producers and you!).
Taking care of your garments is inherent in slow fashion which requires that producers and you, the consumer, take good care of your garments. This includes following the wash instructions carefully and allowing your garments to be used appropriately. By taking care of your clothing, the reward is not only immediate but long-term since you will have clothing that not only last longer but that also will have a second hand value.
8. Slow Fashion is purposeful.
Slow fashion is purposeful in a way that conventional fashion many times fails to be by aiming to create garments that are timeless in style, high quality, environmentally and ethically conscious, and help people avoid overconsumption. Without this clear purpose, clothing will kept being binged consumed, and 30% of our wardrobes will remain unused. The purpose of slow fashion is clear: to buy better-quality items less often and when shopping, maintaining a focus on environmental and ethical consciousness rather than what's trendy at that moment.
9. Green is the new black.
Last but not least, slow fashion is bubbling up as the new trend and green is indeed turning out to be the new black. At the recent MET Gala, fabulous Emma Watson appeared wearing a 100% recycled outfit made by Calvin Klein to honor the Green Carpet Challenge. With women like Emma leading the way and pushing for a new sustainable future for fashion, the shift is only lingering around the corner, and we can't wait for you to join the revolution!
What defines Slow Fashion for you?