What is slow fashion?
Slow fashion refers to the process of slower fashion cycles. In comparison to fast fashion, the slow fashion cycle focuses on timeless pieces or seasonless collections. Consumers of slow fashion tend to buy fewer pieces but higher quality pieces that align with their values and can be worn for years.
Why is slow fashion considered better than fast fashion?
The fast fashion cycle refers to refers “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.” Fast fashion provides constant turnover of trends fueling a desire for “new.” Consumers know that new styles will be coming in and may not want to pay higher prices for clothes they know will not last as long (due to quality and fashion trends). With new product coming in, the previously purchased product is no longer as valuable. Fast fashion brands account for this and try to sell it a discounted rate and traditionally lower quality as it is intended to be worn for a shorter period. As a result, this model relies on finding the cheapest cost at the expense of people and the planet.
Slow Fashion is a movement to transform this model to support people and planet. This means designing and producing product that can be worn for many seasons and with quality fabrics, ethical production, and timeless design.
Can slow fashion be trendy?
It may seem like slow fashion is just that “slow” and therefore not trendy. I am here to say that in my experience trendy and stylish are not mutually exclusive. Slow fashion can incorporate certain trends and modern elements. The designs vary as much as the designers who create them. The overall goal is for slow fashion to become pieces you can wear and love for years, not one season.
Where can I find Slow Fashion brands?
The most sustainable thing you can wear is what you already own, even if it is fast fashion. As you need items replaced, buying from slow fashion brands is a great way to build out your sustainable wardrobe. When looking for slow fashion brands, look at the frequency of product lines being offered.
- Do they have product launching every week?
- Is there a push for newness and for items to only be worn for a brief period of time?
- Does the brand offer a pre-order model to reduce overproduction and consumption?
- Are the designs timeless or in style for many seasons?
Many fashion bloggers and organizations also have brand directories and lists to highlight those that meet certain sustainability criteria.
Incorporating slow fashion into your wardrobe helps transform the fashion model to one that respects people and the planet. It takes time to build a conscious wardrobe and is all about progress, not perfection.
For more resources on slow fashion and building a sustainable fashion wardrobe, check out our full Guide to Sustainable Fashion.