The fashion industry has been going through a wave of change over the last few years. Powered by consumer demands for transparent supply chains powered by revelations the fashion industry has on the planet, people and animals. Brands are increasingly rejecting the principles of Fast Fashion, and instead, developing a slow fashion approach to fashion, for a more sustainable approach to making clothes.
What is Slow Fashion?
Slow Fashion is an approach and awareness to fashion, which considers the resources and process required to make clothing. It is a sustainable mindset and action which involves buying better-quality products, which will last longer and holds value for the fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.
The term ‘Slow Fashion’ was coined by Kate Fletcher, from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, following the slow food movement. Slow Fashion opposes the fast fashion model which emerged around 20-years ago. As with the slow food movement, Fletcher saw the need for a slower pace in the fashion industry.
Some characteristics of a Slow Fashion brand
- Made from high quality, sustainable materials (e.g. organic Fairtrade cotton, hemp, bamboo, Tencel)
- Often in smaller (local) stores rather than large chain companies
- Locally sourced, produced and sold garments
The movement of Slow Fashion
Pre-industrial revolution, clothing were locally sourced and produced. Clothing was typically more durable and could serve them for a long time. Clothing reflected the place and culture of the people wearing them.
Today’s Slow Fashion is seen as some these old ways coming back into focus.
Awareness from consumers demanding higher sustainability and ethical standards in clothing is increasing. Research shows, 19% of the top fast fashion-related searches are linked to the environment, ethics and sustainability. Slow fashion encourages us to buy less – and less often, but at higher quality and made from more sustainable processes. It puts the emphasis on the skills of the people who make them and the quality resources gone into the product.