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Slow Fashion Explained


Slow Fashion

It is no surprising that over the last few years, we, as consumers, have become more aware in regards of the fashion industry. There is a demand on higher sustainability and ethical standards. With the pandemic caused by COVID-19, our habits have shifted towards slow fashion. We prioritise climate change and the issues with pollution (including fashion).
Slow Fashion

What Is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is a ‘global movement’ which advocates for slow production and consumption, respecting people, animals and the environment.
Slow fashion is the opposite to the fast fashion business model. Its aim is to preserve the environment and crafts, using high quality eco-friendly materials.

The Origin

The concept of ‘slow fashion’ is credited to Kate Fletcher, professor of Sustainability, Design, and Fashion at the UAL, London.
“Slow fashion is about choice, information, cultural diversity, identity, as well as balance, durability and long-term quality products. Slow fashion is about designing, producing, consuming and living better. Slow is not the opposite of fast. There is no dualism but a different approach in which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the fashion impact on workers, communities, and ecosystem.” — Kate Fletcher, coining the term “slow fashion” in 2007.

Slow Fashion Philosophy

There are two main points on the slow fashion process: 

Manufacturing

The production of slow fashion brands is quite small and it is done by independent designers or local artisans. They use premium-quality, (ideally) eco-friendly and cruelty-free materials, protecting the environment.
They emphasize the quality of the product and its longevity.

Consumption

In slow fashion, how we consume is a key point. 
As fashion designer Vivienne Westwood says: 'Buy less, choose well'. Choose high-quality products that will last a lifetime.  
Mend your or repurpose clothes, give them a second life. 
Buy from independent designer and sustainable brands, and buy second hand.
Thrift shop

Slow Fashion vs Sustainable Fashion

The term 'sustainable fashion' incorporates the whole range of ‘eco,’ ‘green,’ ‘slow,’ and ‘ethical’ movements of fashion.
Slow fashion has a sustainable nature, as it cares about the environment, human labour and raw materials.

A slow fashion approach could initiate the creation of new strategies of design, production, consumption, use, and reuse of fashion.

Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion

Fast fashion has been built for cheap labour, resource depletion, over consumption and waste creation.
Around 80 billion new garments are produced, globally, each year.
Sadly, 80% of all garments produced end up as landfill waste or in incinerators.
Fast fashion generates over 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 each year, contributing massively and negatively to global warming.
Save the earth
Slow fashion tries to make a difference and end the damage of fast fashion. As Orsola de Castro, of Fashion Revolution said:
The first thing to do when you’re looking at a piece of clothing is to turn it inside out and pull at any piece of string you find. If the garments are cheaply made, the seams start to unravel. Don’t buy it
Slow fashion advocates for buying long-lasting, high-quality clothing, made by independent designers, who use sustainable materials, in order to protect the environment.
The slow fashion movement proposes a thoughtful, intentional, and holistic approach to fashion making. 
The benefits of slow fashion are numerous.
The slow fashion model takes a circular, long-term approach as well.
Transparency is key for slow fashion brands. Customers have access to all the information needed to make a conscious purchase.
Slow fashion is about creating and consuming with integrity. It is about connecting environmental awareness and social responsibility, with the pleasure of wearing beautiful, well-made, and lasting clothing“, said the Editor in Chief at ‘Who What Wear’, Kat Collings.
And you, have you joined the slow fashion movement yet? 
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