The Slow Fashion movement is gaining momentum. But what exactly is it?
Here’s an apt description from slow fashion brand Study NY:
Slow fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. Slow fashion encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.
Just as the Slow Food movement is seen as a solution to fast food, the Slow Fashion is, similarly, a solution to fast fashion, which the brand Not Just a Label explains this way:
[Fast fashion] 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, and it is the environment and workers in the supply chain that pay. […] this industry is constantly contributing to the depletion of fossil fuels, used, for example, in textile & garment production and transportation. Fresh water reservoirs are also being increasingly diminished for cotton crop irrigation. The fashion industry is also introducing, in a systematic way and in ever-greater amounts, manmade compounds such as pesticides and synthetic fibres, which increase their persistent presence in nature.
Fast fashion is viewed as disposable, it hurts people, and it damages the environment. It is ever-changing but steadily entering landfills, and at an alarming rate. In fact, is is estimated that 13.1 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year, and that only 15% of this is recovered for reuse or recycling.
Slow fashion, on the other hand, challenges us to think about where our clothes come from and where they’re heading. It urges us to use better (natural) materials, take care of what we already have, and reuse whatever we can.
I believe there are three essential elements of slow fashion: care, quality, and cultivation. Because of the nature of slow fashion, the care it takes to create a new “slow fashion” garment, it can be seen as expensive and something only for the privileged. However, it doesn’t have to be this way; with a little bit of knowledge, everyone can nurture a healthier wardrobe, no matter their budget.
Over the next week I’ll be posting parts 2 and 3 of this series, where we’ll explore these concepts and learn how to put them into action.
Until then, stay slow, my friends!!