Slow Fashion –
Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalised, mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. With retailers selling the latest fashion trends at very low prices, consumers are easily swayed to purchase more than they need. But, this overconsumption comes with a hidden price tag on the environment and workers in the supply chain.
The term “Slow Fashion” was coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK). “Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum.”
The Slow Fashion Movement is based on the same principles of the Slow Food Movement, as the alternative to mass-produced clothing (AKA “Fast-Fashion”). Initially, The Slow Clothing Movement was intended to reject all mass-produced clothing, referring only to clothing made by hand, but has broadened to include many interpretations and is practiced in various ways.
Some examples of slow fashion practices include:
- Opposing and boycotting mass-produced fashion (AKA “Fast-Fashion” or “McFashion”).
- Choosing artisan products to support smaller businesses, fair trade and locally-made clothes.
- Buying secondhand or vintage clothing and donating unwanted garments.
- Choosing clothing made with sustainable, ethically-made or recycled fabrics.
- Choosing quality garments that will last longer, transcend trends (a “classic” style), and be repairable.
- Doing it yourself – making, mending, customizing, altering, and up-cycling your own clothing.
- Slowing the rate of fashion consumption: buying fewer clothes less often.
The Slow Fashion movement is a unified representation of all the “sustainable”, “eco”, “green”, and “ethical” fashion movements. It encourages education about the garment industry’s connection and impact on the environment and depleting resources, slowing of the supply chain to reduce the number of trends and seasons, to encourage quality production, and return greater value to garments removing the image of disposability of fashion. A key phrase repeatedly heard in reference to Slow Fashion is “quality over quantity”. This phrase is used to summarize the basic principles of slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer.
My Views –
- Fast fashion constantly contributes to the depletion of fossil fuels with the need for constant supply in a short amount of time. Transport and production depletes a lot of resources. Slow Fashion tackles this.
- Fresh water reservoirs are also being increasingly diminished for cotton crop irrigation for Fast Fashion.
- Slow Fashion represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement.
- It encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment.
- When we slow down we realize that we don’t need to buy new trends every 6 weeks as the fast-fashion retailers are pushing them out, we need to step back and reassess what is really important to us.