In a world obsessed with speeding everything up, one industry is taking a stand: fashion. As we become more aware of our impact on the world around us, many of us are looking to make more conscious decisions. Whether that be in the food that we eat or the clothes that we wear.

Gone are the days where we would obsess over buying something for the cheapest price. Now, we don’t mind spending a little more to know that our money is going towards change for good. In the world of clothing, this means supporting the slow fashion movement.

Slow fashion is a considered approach to fashion and a reaction to the fast pace at which clothing is being created and consumed. It brings together ideals of ethical and sustainable manufacturing whilst encouraging consumers to thoughtfully engage with fashion, choosing quality over quantity.

So, slow fashion sounds great so far but what are its principles?

Clothing that lasts longer
Because clothes in slow fashion are made with higher quality materials, they have a much longer life. Typically, in fast fashion, the cheapest materials are used to save manufacturing costs. However, this means that they are more prone to wear and tear damage. Also, slow fashion clothes are crafted on a more individual basis meaning every garment is quality-checked before being put to sale. You’ll be hard-pressed to find even one loose thread on a piece of slow fashion. A far cry from the fast-fashion world that’s for sure!
More unique styles
Since slow fashion is produced on a smaller scaler, your clothes are far more likely to be unique. While they probably won’t be one of a kind, they will definitely be far less common than clothing from a fast-fashion brand. This gives slow fashion its own timeless look so you can keep wearing your clothes time and time again over the years.
Less pollution and waste
Of course, the biggest benefit to slow fashion is the reduction in pollution and waste. Since the clothes last longer, they don’t end up in landfills as fast fashion does. Slow fashion clothes are also made using more environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and more sustainable materials. Considering all of that, the impact of producing slow fashion is far less than that of the industrial fast fashion market.
Supports ethical businesses
We mentioned it briefly earlier, but slow fashion brands are usually far more ethical than their fast fashion counterparts. The whole slow fashion movement has opened our eyes to how our fashion choices are affecting the world around us.

Fast fashion is all about output at any cost and that is why you’ll often find unethical things going on behind the scenes. On the other hand, slow fashion is all about committing to bettering the industry as a whole. So, slow fashion brands not only make longer-lasting and better-quality clothing, but they also look after their people on every level of the business. Buying from slow fashion brands supports this slow fashion movement and, hopefully, one day, the fashion industry will move out of the fast lane.

Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion. Where fast fashion is all about making clothes as quickly and as cheaply as possible, slow fashion focuses on quality, not quantity.

Fast fashion has been an issue for years now. Since fashion trends disappear as quickly as they came, fast fashion is an easy way for companies to make a quick bit of cash. And when we say ‘bit’, we mean potentially millions. However, when we buy fast fashion, we’re actually putting money into the pockets of businesses using unethical and environmentally damaging methods.

As more scandals came out in the news, more of us decided we needed to start making more conscious decisions when it came to our clothes. That’s why the slow fashion movement really began.

So, what exactly is it about fast fashion that is so bad? After all, fast fashion is more affordable for the everyday person. While that is true, the cost to the environment is far bigger. Here are just some of the reasons why fast fashion is bad:

Increased water wastage
One of the biggest concerns for fast fashion is the huge amounts of water waste. You may have even noticed some high-street fashion brands introducing ‘conscious’ lines which are made using less water. The problem here isn’t that water is being used, it’s that water is being polluted with textile by-products that end up back in our rivers and oceans. The documentary “River Blue” explores the issue of water pollution as a result of textile dyeing, should you be interested in learning more.
Microplastics in materials
When clothes are washed they release microfibres, tiny fibres that are part of the overall material of your garment. When clothing is made of plastic, these fibres are called microplastics and are impossible to filter out at water treatment stations. Where do they end up? In our rivers and oceans.

Makes one want to think again before buying clothes made with mostly polyester and nylon.
Bad human ethics and rights
Often, fast fashion clothes are made in low socioeconomic countries and shipped all over the world. Not only is this a whole environmental issue in itself, but it’s associated with unethical labour practices. Long hours and poor working conditions aren’t uncommon in the textile industry and people are sometimes forced to work against their will. The low-cost and quick turnaround needed to make a fast-fashion model work contribute to such human rights violations, so the next time something looks too cheap you may consider it probably is.

It can be hard to resist the temptation of fast fashion, especially if you’re trying to watch what you spend. While slow fashion is better in almost every way, not everyone can afford to stock up on fewer, more expensive items.

So, where does that leave you, how do you avoid fast fashion?

Well, there are actually lots of ways to cut back on your fast fashion fix. For example, charity shops are great places to find second-hand clothes that are sometimes even from high-end brands. Similarly, make sure to check out social media for people selling their old clothes online.

If wearing something used isn’t doing it for you, you could rent your clothes instead. Several big-name brands offer rental services for their clothes meaning you can fill your wardrobe, not a landfill, with all the latest styles.

As we continue to produce slow fashion, processes and materials will become more affordable. Eventually, we hope that slow fashion will take over and be the first choice for most shoppers. It might take a while but making a start is the first step towards a more ethical and sustainable fashion world.

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