Slow Fashion: What It Is and Why It's So Important

Slow Fashion: What It Is and Why It's So Important

A Note On Fashion Fashion

There is no such thing as “conscious fast fashion.” Fast fashion encourages buying frequently and discarding quickly. The current mainstream fashion industry relies on globalised, mass production methods where items are designed, produced, sold, and then discarded at a rapid pace - usually within a few weeks. The production methods used to create these garments - sold on the high street through big name brands - threaten natural resources and damage the social and ecological environment; contributing to the depletion of fossil fuels; damaging water reservoirs and cotton crop irrigation; introducing pesticides into the environment; placing forests and ecosystems in jeopardy, and using unethical manufacturing methods that threaten human rights and the safety of its workforce.

The main reason our relationship with fast fashion is unsustainable is because we buy too much. When items are so cheap, we justify to ourselves the reasons for buying them. We buy them because they are cheap not because we love them. We end up with too many things.

Slow Fashion: What It Is and Why It's So Important

What Is “Slow Fashion”?

Slow fashion is the rejection of trend-led seasons; it’s about fewer purchases of higher quality, designed and created to last. It encourages us to consider our environment by valuing ethical production methods, creating quality products in a sustainable manner.

Slow fashion is about buying less; it’s about placing quality over quantity; it’s about caring for the environment; it’s about conscious buying and thoughtful purchases. It’s not about not buying anything at all. We need clothes to wear, shoes to put on our feet, and it’s OK to lust after (and buy) little extras that we don’t necessarily need but rather want. So long as we make those purchases in a respectful, conscious manner, taking into account how something was made, whether it was designed to last, and if it will enrich our lives rather than just add another thing to our pile of things only to be discarded later.

Slow fashion values our environment; places importance on diversity, quality, beauty, and sustainability; acknowledges the needs of our environment and our community; encourages us to slow down our consumption and practice conscious buying.

How We Can Play Our Part

Consumption, in any form, is powerful. Slow fashion is about voting with our money; it’s about making a conscious choice to buy sustainable items, and that choice says: “I care. I care about our community. I care about our environment. I care about the part I play in it.” But also: “I place value in the things I buy."

If you feel this “movement” is exclusive or are daunted by the issues it deals with, remember slow fashion is not about living by a certain set of rules. It’s about introducing an awareness of sustainability into our lives and that means something different to everyone and can be achieved in so many different ways. It’s about aspiring to do better in any small way we can.

Slow fashion is simply the decision to be conscious with our choices and make only thoughtful purchases that enrich our lives both mentally and physically.

If you are interested in learning more, I recommend reading this post on the slow fashion movement, watching The True Cost documentary, and reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline.