What Does Slow Fashion Actually Mean?

”Seventy-five percent of fashion supply chain material ends up in landfills. This amounts to ‘the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles per second.’” Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 Report

While slow, ethical, and sustainable fashion all describe efforts towards an aspirational goal—rethinking our relationship to clothes—slow fashion combines a brand’s practices with a customer’s shopping habits. The movement works towards creating an industry that benefits the planet and all people. In a perfect world, fashion would just be slow fashion, but we’re not there yet. BRANDS CREATING CLOTHING MADE TO LAST Fast fashion corporations spit new collections onto sales floors almost every week. The Pulse of the Fashion Industry’s 2018 report states that less than one percent of all clothing materials are recycled into new garments. It summarizes that “much of today’s production is designed neither for longevity nor recycling, but rather for short life cycles to encourage consumers to buy anew.”  Slow fashion flips this model on its head. With slower production schedules, small batch collections, and zero waste designs, slow fashion brands aim to reduce the textile waste clogging our landfills. Instead of chasing trends, these companies utilize enduring styles with layering options and create pieces that are classic and versatile. This gives customers the ability to keep garments for a lifetime.

“Instead of chasing trends, slow fashion brands utilize enduring styles with layering options and create pieces that are classic and versatile.”

Yet, this is a moot point without the inclusion of high-quality materials. If brands are creating clothing built to last, the fabric must hold up over time. Slow fashion retailers will often use linen, organic cotton, or Tencel to create pieces sturdy enough to weather wardrobe storms and gentle enough to keep the environmental impact low. In addition to caring for the planet through thoughtful design, slow fashion companies produce clothing in-house or locally, allowing for full control over the supply chain process and labor conditions. There’s no rush to scale quickly or create items to please the masses. This not-so-new take on the industry infuses value into every seam, lining, and fold of a lovingly crafted garment.

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