What we mean when we say “Slow Fashion”

woman in dress on field
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If you’ve been following me for any length of time, or you’ve been listening in on the sustainable fashion movement, then you likely would have heard the term “slow fashion”. What does it mean for fashion to be slow and why does it matter – let us take a closer look.

Slow fashion is the antidote to fast fashion – its not based on promoting consumption, on never ending trend cycles, or having to wear something new all the time! Slow fashion is intentional. It is designed to outlast a trend or season and be something that is made with quality and integrity that can be worn many times over without losing its fit or feeling like its “last season”. The average piece of fast fashion clothing is worn only 7 times before being discarded, and the way to come up against a statistic like that is to produce pieces that are better quality and are not based on a fleeting trend that will last a few weeks before being pushed to the side for something else new.

Often times slow fashion is interconnected with small batch production. The pieces are made in limited runs to reduce over-production waste and over-consumption waste. It is produced in a thoughtful manner, so the fibre content is considered, the wash and wear life of the garment as well as the ability for it to transcend seasons and become a wardrobe staple that you love to turn to.

Slow fashion considers people – the people who contribute to the production of the garment, the fibre growers, the spinners and weavers, the sewists and machinists; and of course the people who buy and wear it – how will they care for it, how often can they wear it, is it a piece with multiple ways to wear it and what will the garment’s end of life look like. It also considers the planet and the impact that production on the environment.

The aim of slow fashion is to reduce consumption and avoid over-production. It asks us to invest in less pieces that are higher quality – meaning better fabric quality, better production and longer lasting through wash and wear. It asks us to increase our wear per piece count, so instead of 7 average wears, we do 15, 20 or many many more! You can still partake in trends and be a fashionista, even wearing and living a slow fashion lifestyle – you can see more on that on my previous post here where I discuss ways to wear the latest trends in a eco-conscious way.

Not every Slow Fashion brand covers absolutely every aspect, most of us works in progress, changing and developing with our values and the industry, creating return and care systems as our facilities and resources allow us – but we care enough to start making a difference now, in ways that we can. We can all get on board and make a difference by shopping with consideration – do I really need this? or can I shop my wardrobe instead? Or could I get this second hand? Do I have a piece the same that just needs a small repair?

If you would like to read more or get involved you can check out the Slow Fashion Movement – a group of people who are advocating for change in the fashion industry and helping others by leading the way.
(full disclaimer – I am a Global Ambassador for the Slow Fashion Movement but am in no way compensated for giving them a shoutout)

So to summarise – Slow fashion is about lowering consumption, buying well made, quality pieces and being considerate and thoughtful both for business in production, and for fashionistas in purchasing.

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m always happy to chat.

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