What is the slow fashion movement, and why is it important? We explain
By Diane Small
As fast fashion heads towards being responsible for 25% of the world’s carbon consumption, more consumers are demanding change. And the slow fashion movement can potentially offer that change.
You’ve probably heard the term before. But given that there’s quite a wide lexicon in the green fashion movement, from ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, vegan fashion and more, what exactly is slow fashion, anyway?
What Is The Slow Fashion Movement?
In direct opposition to fast fashion, the slow fashion movement aims to:
- Produce clothes that use sustainable materials that last
- Offer timeless designs and are made to be worn for many years
- Design clothes in a way that means they can be repaired, giving them a longer life
- Create durable clothing that won’t easily fall apart
Slow fashion brands offer low pollution items that have a clear, ethical production process. Some might even offer a buyback or repair option when your items need attention. That’s why many luxury brands are considered to exemplify slow fashion.
Many of us have fallen into a pattern where we buy clothes that fit current trends, only to have a clear-out when a new trend hits. However, slow fashion aims to transcend all trends. That way, you’ll never need to buy new clothes every season.
Why is Slow Fashion Important?
Slow fashion is vitally important because it works to save global resources, reduce pollution, and support workers’ rights. Moreover, according to Hainsworth, fast fashion takes a considerable toll on the environment. By producing highly trendy clothes made from cheap, synthetic materials, fast fashion creates a high amount of waste.
This importance of slow fashion cannot be underestimated. It aims to reduce waste, improve workers’ lives, and provide longer-lasting garments.
The Problems With Fast Fashion
It’s clear that slow fashion offers a range of great incentives. But does that mean fast fashion is really so bad? The short answer is: yes. Unfortunately, fast fashion encourages:
- Excessive consumer consumption of cheap clothing
- Landfills full of poor quality items that are not designed to last
- Massive environmental impact from processes such as dyeing and bleaching textiles
- Poor treatment of workers in factories that don’t pay fairly. They may even offer dangerous working conditions or employ child workers
Still today, many consumers are unaware of the fast fashion system that they are buying from. And so the demand for new trends continues. However, with better consumer education, we hope this will end soon.
How You Can Support Slow Fashion
If you feel that the slow fashion movement aligns with your values, here’s what you can do to support it:
- Choose clothes that are made with long-lasting materials that have been made well. These clothes are typically more expensive initially, but will save you from having to buy more clothes in the long run
- Find out about the fashion brands you usually buy from and their ethical production values
- Look for clothes in charity shops and at vintage sales instead of buying new.
- Don’t be afraid to repair your clothes when they need it rather than binning them.
- Repurpose your clothes when they are no longer wearable. From dishcloths and rag rugs to redesigned outfits, there’s always a way to use the material when it has reached the end of its current life.
The great thing about being part of the slow fashion movement is that you will not only have access to great quality clothes that last a long time but you can also be confident that you are taking active steps to change the climate crisis we are facing, all while improving your own personal habits. Join the slow fashion revolution today!
All images: Cult Gaia