In recent years the fashion industry has started to change towards becoming a more sustainable industry. This comes from the rising awareness of the climatic changes, the bad working conditions around the world, and animal use in clothing production.
Globally, the movement of Fast Fashion has shined for several years, given a lot of big companies the biggest market share, and further supported poor quality, bad working conditions, and ultimately, contributed to the disastrous climatic changes.
So what is slow sustainable fashion?
Slow Sustainable Fashion or just slow fashion, is an antidote to this behavior and fortunately, it has come to stay! So what is it and why should you support it?
The Rise Of The Slow Fashion Movement
Slow Fashion was made as an antidote to the existing movements in the fashion industry and considers the processes of clothing production, focusing on sustainability and ethical choices within fashion.
Slow fashion supports clothes made out of high sustainable quality materials, clothes that are being recycled, proper working conditions for everyone involved and everything that makes clothes leave a less negative impact on the earth.
The term originally came as a response to fast fashion and borrows a lot from the slow food movement. It was first coined by the sustainable fashion pioneer Kate Fletcher. She recognized the need for a slower pace in the fashion industry, which had for the past years thrived on consumerism and fast changes in trends.
Slow fashion is therefore part of an overall sustainable fashion trend that has emerged over the past years and which has come to stay and hopefully continue to grow.
Characteristics Of Slow Sustainable Fashion
There are a lot of different characteristics of slow fashion and it can be quite difficult to spot if a brand is completely sustainable and how you as a consumer can support slow fashion.
Nevertheless, I have tried to compile a list of different aspects that are all important in regards to slow fashion.
The list can be seen on the right and summerized with the following headlines:
- Made from high quality materials
- Fair trade
- Locally produced
- Buying from small independent shops and vintage stores.
Most Common Materials used in Slow fashion
There are a lot of different common materials used for sustainable clothes. Below I have listed some of the most used (I know that there are a lot more options out there and that the industry has experimented with fabricated materials as well).
Recycled cotton happens when you convert cotton fabric into cotton fiber, which can then be turned into new textile products. Cotton as you may already know is the most popular material used for clothes. So it’s highly important that you take the already existing cotton and reuse it for new clothes.
Organic hemp is commonly used for clothes.. wait you said hemp? I know what you might be thinking, but the plant has been used for textiles for centuries and is very sustainable! It does not require much water and it is one of the least polluting crops two harvests.
It is also known to regulate its heat in regard to its environment and it gets softer every time you wash it! Now people in the west are starting to use it as bed-linen.
Organic-linen is also a natural fabric which has been used since forever. It comes from the flax plant and just as the hemp requires little water and therefor is quite sustainable to use. It is a strong plant and that is light in weight and can withstand heat.
You should always look at the material used before buying a piece of clothe. If its made out of any of the three above, chances of it being sustainable are quite good.
Why Is Slow Fashion Important?
Why is it important to support sustainable fashion? Down below I have made a list of some of the benefits you as a consumer gets supporting slow fashion and how it’s supporting a greener environment.
1. It Supports Uniqueness And Last Longer
Because it’s not produced by big companies such as H&M, Zara and Primark to name a few. It’s often much more unique and creative as only a small amount of stock is produced each year. Given its small scale its also often much better produced and lasts longer due to the materials used as well as being handmade most of the time.
2. It’s Better For Your Skin
Since it’s often made out of good materials, is handmade locally and part of fair trade it does not contain any bad chemicals causing you an allergic reaction or such. Therefore you can feel comfortable wearing something you know does not mess up your hormones and skin.
3. It Helps The Environment
It’s locally made and not mass-produced, helping to decrease the fashion industry’s overall impact on the climate. No production can be a 100% climate-friendly as there will always be machinery, transport and such involved. Nevertheless, slow fashion supports the least harmful way of doing fashion.
4. It’s good for the workers
Fast fashion has produced poor working conditions for people all over the world. Slow fashion supports equality and makes sure that people are paid properly and work in healthy environments.
5. It’s an antidote to the existing fashion behaviour
Slow Fashion is important not only for its own sake but because of what that fast fashion and consumerism are not. It supports sustainability and ethical choices in regards to fashion, and help create a more sustainable world as a consequence of its nature.
I hope that after reading this article on what is slow fashion, you will have a much better understanding of what slow fashion is and why it is important. If you are curious about anything related to the article or sustainable fashion in general, don’t hesitate to write a comment down below or send us an email.
If you want to learn more about sustainable fashion, then take a look at our article page right here.
If you want to know how to incorporate sustainable fashion in your life, then check out our article on sustainable fashion tips that are easy to follow in 2020.