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What is Slow Fashion?

Liv&Grace Blog Post

Is Conscious Shopping the New Trend in Fashion?

There are so many phrases in the world of sustainable design that it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially when some of them seem to blend altogether! So, what precisely is slow fashion, and how does it vary from sustainable fashion? We’re here to debunk the phrase and explain why slowing down fashion is critical for a fashion sector that leaves a smaller environmental legacy for future generations.

In this, we will discuss:

1. What is Slow Fashion?
2. Slow Fashion’s Early Years
3. Slow Fashion versus Sustainable Fashion
4. Slow Fashion’s Evolution
5. Slow Fashion Brand Characteristics
6. How to Apply the Slow Fashion Principles in Your Wardrobe and Life
7. What Makes Fast Fashion so Dangerous?
8. How Can I Cut Down on my Fashion Spending?
9. What Can You Do to Fight Fast Fashion
10. Is it possible that the slow fashion movement will end the fast fashion market?
11. Fast vs Slow Fashion: Why does slow fashion appeal to today’s consumer?

1. What is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is the complete antithesis of fast fashion. It refers to a fashion awareness and strategy that considers the procedures and resources needed to create apparel. It promotes the purchase of higher-quality clothes that will last longer and equitable treatment of people, wildlife, and the environment.

In actuality, slow fashion and sustainable or ethical fashion have a great deal in common. They are sister movements with similar general principles. The primary difference with slow fashion is that it focuses more on minimizing consumption and manufacturing.

2. Early Years

A tsunami of transformation has swept across the fashion business in the last decade or two. A growing number of firms are rejecting the ideals of rapid fashion in favor of a more environmentally friendly approach to clothing production.

The term slow fashion was coined by accident. Following the slow food concept, it was invented by Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Fletcher identified a need for a slower pace in the fashion sector, similar to the slow food trend.

Slow fashion is the polar opposite of the fast fashion concept, which developed roughly 20 years ago and saw clothing become more affordable and trend cycles shorten. Despite increasing sustainability attempts to complete the loop in fashion, businesses like H&M burn several tons of unsold items each year. It’s evident that this mindset is an essential component of the movement.

3. Slow Fashion versus Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion and slow fashion are two words for the same notion. The primary concept is to alter the complicated processes inherent in today’s fashion paradigm for the sake of the Earth and its inhabitants.

Sustainable Fashion

As more individuals become aware of the negative consequences of excessive consumption and a throw-away society, sustainable clothing continues to gain favor. As a result, companies have been more conscious about manufacturing and marketing. The sustainable fashion movement emphasizes natural garment materials and low-impact production. This trend has prompted a closer examination of what sustainability entails and how a shift in mindset and behavior may affect fashion.

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is seen as an extension of ecologically conscious fashion. Quality, locally created clothes, produced on a smaller scale and with shorter manufacturing schedules, distinguishes it today. Workers, the environment, and cultural connections are all given consideration. Slow fashion is more than just the polar opposite of fast fashion; it’s a reinvention of the clothing industry’s potential.

4. Slow Fashion’s Evolution

The slow fashion movement arose in response to the fast fashion industry’s rapid development. People have begun to recognize the fast fashion model’s instability, from garment worker abuse to pollution. Slow fashion, on the other hand, tries to return us to the beginnings of fashion, before the Industrial Revolution.

When Kate Fletcher first defined her ideal fashion paradigm, she was channeling Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Movement, which was founded in 1986 and centered on a balance of enjoyment, awareness, and responsibility. As a result, Fletcher advocated for slow fashion to emphasize quality over quantity, as well as the environmental principles connected with sustainable clothing.

Slow fashion was originally defined by Fletcher as a chance to build a powerful connection between designer, producer, and customer, but it has now expanded to include much more. Slow fashion is no longer just an idea about connections and superior goods; it now encompasses consumer lifestyles as well as ethical manufacturing.

The rings of sustainability are closing as more conscious buyers become aware of the industry’s problematic practices. As the world becomes increasingly conscious of how intertwined these movements are, the phrases “sustainable,” “slow,” “ethical,” “vegan fashion” and “eco-fashion” are being used interchangeably. Slow fashion firms like Sezen Musa and Cultural Fibers have benefited greatly from social media.

5. Slow Fashion Brand Characteristics

– Made from high quality, eco-friendly textiles such as linen and/or organic cotton
– Designs are timeless as opposed to trendy
– Items sold in smaller (local) enterprises rather than huge chain stores;
– Garments that are locally sourced, made and marketed
– Few, particular styles each collection, published twice or three times a year at the most, or a year-round collection
– Items are made to order, also known as ‘pre order’. This is done to reduce waste production

6. How to Apply the Slow Fashion Principles in your Wardrobe and Life

Anyone may join the slow fashion movement since it has a low entrance barrier. You don’t even have to buy new clothes! Here are a few ways you can help:

Make a love tale out of it.

Look through your closet and remember where some of your favorite items came from. This might be as basic as recalling the time you spilled spaghetti on your white t-shirt (and then rescued it!) or as elaborate as making room for a piece of clothes passed down from a loved one. Restore life to your closet!

Make purchases with care.

Begin by resisting the desire to make spontaneous purchases. Before you go out and get a new pair of shoes, call a colleague or look through your current wardrobe to see what would go with what you already have. When you’re ready to buy anything new, check out secondhand apps or thrift stores first.

Create a capsule wardrobe.

This wardrobe strategy needs you to be honest with yourself about what apparel is appropriate for your lifestyle. A capsule wardrobe can only include a limited number of things.Your clothing should be both practical and stylish.

Seek the advice of experts.

To get you started, here are a few: Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Brands, Vegan Shoes, Budget (Ethical) Clothing Lines, and Ecological Clothing Brands are all examples of ethical and sustainable clothing brands.

Make some inquiries.

If you come across a new slow fashion company, do some research on it to be sure you’re not wasting your money. Look at the brand’s website for more information on the design process.
Is it a long-term, progressive, and ethical process for all those involved? What projects are this company donating to? What is the number of collections that the brand releases each year? These and other comparable inquiries will disclose whether or not a company heeds its own instructions. If you’re unsure, shoot the company an email or reach out on social media.

7. What Makes Fast Fashion so Dangerous?

Slow fashion aspires to replace the fast fashion business, which regards clothing (and, in some circumstances, the people who make it) as worthless.

It swiftly cycles through enormous volumes washing water, dye, oil, and, in certain cases, chemicals to produce clothing that can be sold for a low price but isn’t built to last. Then it advertises those garments in a way that encourages people to buy them in large quantities.

Over the last few decades, flashy commercial campaigns, seasonal fashion shows, and continuously shifting trends have drastically boosted the need for new clothing. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s research, A New Textile Economy, global clothing consumption (the number of times a garment is worn) has declined by 36% since 2000, while global clothing production has increased.

“The quantity generated is the No. 1 issue [with fast fashion],” Artise explains. “The toxic chemicals employed in manufacturing have remained consistent throughout history. The only difference is that we’re creating a lot more now.”

Some corporations have taken shortcuts in their supply networks to enable this increased output. Millions of garment workers throughout the world today labor in hazardous, often life-threatening circumstances for pitiful wages.

8. How Can I Cut Down on my Fashion Spending?

There is no single strategy to lessen your closet’s effect because the fashion business is riddled with so many issues. That’s great news for slow shoppers, since it means you can find your own way to participate according to your principles, money, and schedule. Industry insiders suggest starting with the following tactics to promote a slower fashion future:

Anti-fracking? Keep an eye out for organic fibers.

When synthetic textiles like polyester and nylon are washed in a washing machine, they can leak small microplastics into the water supply. Organic, biodegradable polymers, particularly those that can be grown fast and without chemicals, have a lower environmental effect. Eco-friendly textiles to consider include hemp, bamboo, wool, linen, and organic cotton. Leather could also be less resource-intensive to produce than synthetic materials (depending on how it’s treated) if you’re not vegan.

This isn’t a matter of checking a box and instantly adding to your basket, as seems to be the case with every other suggestion on this list. It is important to keep perspective throughout this whole process. In other words, before disregarding that organic sweatshirt you’ve had your eye on for being ‘too expensive’, this about why it’s priced as it is. Ask yourself what makes the cotton organic and ecological. Where is it from? How did the cotton grow? and how was it manufactured? Remember, this is slow fashion.

Are you aware of your environmental impact? Look for used and vintage items.

“By giving garments a second or third life, we can save water, energy, and chemicals required in dyeing and manufacturing.” The Biomimicry Institute’s director of design challenges, Megan Schuknecht, talks about the benefits of secondhand purchasing. When you purchase secondhand, you’re opting for garments that are built to last and can be worn by several people.

The universe of thrifting might be intimidating (as previously stated, there are a LOT of items out there these days), but famous vintage shopper Artise advises going in with a purpose, shopping alone so you don’t get sidetracked, and constantly trying on because size varies depending on how old the garment is.

Is there a lot of waste? Purchase durable clothing.

Slow fashion respects the worth of clothes as a material, whereas quick fashion considers it as disposable. When it comes to fashion, recycling entails repurposing old garments into new garments of comparable worth. Old garments become fewer value materials like insulation and rags. This might not be glamorous but it is a better alternative to throwing them away.

When buying apparel, think about how you’ll get rid of it once you’ve worn it out. Ask yourself, “will I be able to downcycle this?” ” How can I repurpose this garment in order to extend its life?” “is it high quality enough to exchange and or sell it?” By asking these questions ahead of time, you will be able to measure whether or not the purchase is worth it.

9. What Can You Do to Fight Fast Fashion

Activism against fast fashion is a part of lobbying for the slow fashion trend. Brands have little motive to modify their supply networks if they don’t hear from their clients. It’s up to you to shop differently and utilize your voice for change. You don’t owe loyalty to brands. If you find that they are engaging in unethical behavior or greenwashing, find another. Don’t be afraid to discuss these topics with your friends or on your social media accounts. Your voice matters in the fight for the sustainable fashion industry. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you go to the mall often?

Ask about the brand’s sustainability policies and ethical supply chain initiatives at a fast-fashion retailer. Employees are unlikely to have any information for you, but you’ll start a crucial dialogue that might spread up the management chain. The more individuals who ask questions, the more probable it is that the organization will pay attention.

Do you enjoy using social media?

Ask fast fashion firms about their production techniques on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Praise the brands you like or open discussions about the ones that seem questionable.

Are you a fan of email?

You may also write to brands!

10. Is it possible that the slow fashion movement will end the fast fashion market?

High-volume clothing shopping did not exist before the 2000s. People either shopped out of need or because of a specific occasion. Before then, fast fashion did not exist. However, after the 2000s, it became mainstream. Marketers and advertisers went out of their way to sell a fashionable dream to their consumers. Average workers wanted to mimic looks found on the runway or in fashion magazines. Based on runway trends, Knock-off looks were mass-produced out of low-quality materials—these looks sold at a cheaper price point. Everyone could suddenly afford to keep up with the latest fashion trends, and they did.

But, it came at a price. Fashion now accounts for 10% of global emissions and 20% of water waste, with 92 million tons of textile waste disposed of annually in incinerators or landfills. With growth expected to increase by 45 percent over the next ten years, there is a clear need for change – and customers are expecting it.

11. Fast vs Slow Fashion: Why does slow fashion appeal to today’s consumer?

Slow fashion better corresponds with current needs and ideals, such as sustainably manufactured, mission-focused, and devoted to high quality and self-expression, since quick fashion has lost its appeal.

Longevity

Firstly, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people buy forever: health concerns have made us care more about the environment, and economic problems have made us think twice about our purchasing habits. This has aided in the development of a “buy less, buy better” ethos, with consumers more interested in items that provide greater value and lifespan.

Artisanal fashion, which focuses on craftsmanship, has resurrected. The beauty of this art form is that it delivers meaningful and sustainable products and supports the slow fashion movement. Vegan fashion goods made by small and or artisanal designers allow for durability, storytelling, personalization, and give back to the individual as opposed to the corporate ‘money hungry’ machine.

Sustainability

Sustainable and environmentally friendly items are no longer a niche sector. According to recent WWF data, searches for sustainable items have increased by a whopping 71 percent over the last five years.

It’s apparent that current consumer views are shifting: according to Depop, 90 percent of Gen Z believe they’ve made adjustments to be more sustainable, with sustainable fashion methods playing an essential part. Fashion manufacturers are stepping on this bandwagon to capitalize on this trend. Although, beware many brands greenwash and claim to use eco-friendly fabrics.

Solidarity

Customers don’t only want companies to cater to their preferences and values. Instead, consumers want businesses to demonstrate that they comprehend, care about, and care about the causes they support and their decisions.

According to the New Heartland Group, half of Millennials and Generation Z customers will hop on a brand’s wagon if they show awareness of the causes and life choices that matter to them. Failing to express solidarity with young customers’ worries and wants, such as the beneficial environmental and social effects of slow fashion, might harm the connection between brand and client, according to 55 percent of respondents.

We understand that not everyone can afford organic cotton clothing or expensive non-leather bags and shoes. We are not looking to speak to those who are struggling financially. Your livelihood comes first! We are, however, inviting the average person who spends money on fast fashion to rethink their purchases. To consume more consciously. And most importantly, to shop with goodwill in mind. It is up to us to help protect this Earth and hold the system accountable for what it creates. Similarly, every purchase we make is a choice and a vote.

It’s up to us to use our buying power to promote a fashion industry that is just, egalitarian, and sustainable. If you’re interested in participating in conscious shopping, please make sure to check out our Vegan Fashion Marketplace. We vet all designers and only work with those who take all the elements mentioned above, into account. Here, you will find vegan leather accessories, sustainable clothing, vegan shoes, and slow fashion items.

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