I know most of us by now have heard the term "fast fashion" thrown around, but have you heard of "slow fashion" yet? We want to take some time to explore this concept of slow fashion and the movement behind it that has been gaining more an more recognition over the past few years. So much so that Fortune magazine has even written up about the phenomenon.
So first of all, what do we mean by slow fashion? The term itself was coined by Kate Fletcher, who has her own sustainable fashion consultancy, in 2007. Basically the slow fashion movement encompasses the sustainable, eco, green and ethical fashion movements in one. In addition, the movement also wants to educate people about the impact that overconsumption has on our environment, our global neighbours and our wallets as well as the diminishing emotional connection we have with our wardrobes.
Leandra Medine wrote a piece on her blog www.manrepeller.com "In Defence of Slow Fashion" about how the way we currently look at clothes is like produce, when we shop we are alway looking for the freshest items. She says "You are not supposed to buy clothes and then find that you feel guilty when you don’t consume them within 48 hours of purchase."
Now, while we would not call for mass-scale boycotts of every high street store, we advocate for thinking about how buying independent is more sustainable. As the slow fashion movement has been gaining more ground in recent years, there have been a plethora of new ways to buy independent. Some of our favourite sites we've found where you can find some amazing new designers are Not Just A Label, Wolf & Badger, Meet My Designer and Nineteenth Amendment. While all of these sites have similarities, all have the aim to bring more focus to independent fashion designers. Another benefit of a lot of the designers showcased on these sites also produce their collections locally, which means not only providing jobs for their local communities but they are also taking some of the power away from factories with, let's say, less than desirable working conditions.
One of the main points of slow fashion we want to promote is to buy fewer clothes and less often. I know how great it feels to find that one amazing, quality piece that you can't live without and save up for it. Then every time you wear it, year in, year out, you think damn I look GOOD! Obviously, a splurge for that statement piece may be £25 for one person and £500 for someone else, the point is that you buy something you will love and wear for longer. I saved up to buy an amazing coat 5 years ago and haven't had to buy a new one since; sure, I've had to stitch up the lining in the pockets, but I still get compliments every time I wear it.
While a fair few of the designers we write about here ascribe to the slow fashion ideals, you can click here to read more about some of the designers where those ideals form an integral piece of their bran ethos.
Who are some of your favourite slow fashion labels?