what is the diference between slow fashion and sustainable fashion?

what is slow fashion?

Slow Fashion is a movement born in direct opposition to the terrible business practice of Fast Fashion, which originated in the 90s with Zara and its extremely short manufacturing cycles that allowed them to quickly turn trends into new clothes that their customers could constantly devour.

Slow Fashion promotes longer manufacturing cycles with respect for the environment and the workers, buying from small producers, purchasing only the necessary, getting second-hand clothes to give them a second life, and buying higher-quality garments that last longer avoiding their disposal.

It is basically the direct opposition of Fast Fashion, a practice that is currently destroying our planet with overproduction, pollution, exploitation of workers, and low-quality garments that are practically made to throw, making the customer buy more and more clothes they do not need.

Fast Fashion is a very interesting topic in itself and we have prepared a long in-detail article about this practice on our Fast Fashion 101 | How It’s Destroying Our Planet.

are slow fashion and sustainable fashion any different?

If you had read any of our articles you may have noticed we use sustainable, slow, and ethical fashion as complete synonyms without any difference between them, but this is not the case as we will see next.

In reality (and this is something we learned recently) there are differences between each of them, slight differences but differences at the end of the day. Having said this, these are the differences between slow fashion and sustainable fashion:

Slow Fashion

This fashion movement focuses on the lifecycle of the garment, how it’s produced, how long it will last… Slow Fashion aims for, as its name implies, a slower and more sustainable production model for garments, directly opposing Fast Fashion. It searches for small producers and stores and high-quality clothes, strongly avoiding overproduction and unnecessary consumerism.

The best example of Slow Fashion can be an on-demand business model where garments are produced by command, eradicating overproduction completely as the items are produced at the time of the purchase. A business model like this is a complete game-changer to the industry.

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion focuses more on the materials used and the production processes the garments go through. You can say it didn’t directly come from opposing Fast Fashion but rather from an eco-friendly green background.

It differs from Slow Fashion because it really focuses a lot more on the ecological materials they use, utilizing materials like organic ring-spun cotton, hemp, or other sustainable and biodegradable materials. If you want to know more about this fashion movement feel free to check out our articles on the subject.

At the end of the day, they may be very similar and may even seem to be the same, as they both promote sustainability in the fashion industry, but the difference, while small, is still there, and we should have known it. But this is a journey where not only you but also us have to learn, and that is one of the best things about beginning this project.

are slow fashion and sustainable fashion any different?

what is the difference between slow, sustainable, and ethical fashion?

We have seen the difference between slow and sustainable fashion before, but there is still another member of this anti-fast fashion group, we are talking about Ethical Fashion. You may say, what is that? how is it different from the other ones?

Do not worry, we will explain to you what Ethical Fashion is and how it differs from its other similars. Without more hesitation, here are the differences in simple terms between the slow, sustainable and ethical fashion:

  • Slow Fashion is the direct opposition to Fast Fashion, it focuses on a slower manufacturing cycle that is more respectful to the planet, avoiding unnecessary consumerism
  • Sustainable Fashion is a movement that aims for producing ecological garments from biodegradable materials, wanting to reduce their carbon footprint above all things.
  • Ethical fashion focuses on the welfare of the workers producing these clothing items, aiming for a decent salary, human working conditions, and protesting against the slavery-like conditions Fast Fashion workers have.

That is, in simple terms the main differences between all of them, but as we said earlier, they all want a sustainable fashion industry, they have the same goals and that is why they are confused so much and used as synonyms. You can say they are all movements that want the same things but have different methods for achieving those goals.

which is better, sustainable fashion or slow fashion?

We have seen the differences between these two fashion movements and what they aim for, but, can you say one is better than the other? Is Sustainable Fashion better than Slow Fashion?

We said earlier that these two are two sides of the same coin, maybe even close to the same side of the same coin, both aim for a sustainable fashion industry that is respectful of the planet, the environment, the workers and the consumers.

So in simple terms, we can say no, no one is better than the other, and that is because even though there are differences between them, Slow Fashion also wants sustainable clothes made from biodegradable materials, and Sustainable Fashion also strongly opposes Fast Fashion and its consequences for our planet.

Any one of these is good and all of them are 1000 times better than Fast Fashion clothes, and generally, Slow, Sustainable, or Ethical fashion stores produce garments that are at the same time Slow, Sustainable and Ethical. So it just depends on your preferences, but all of them as we said want to achieve the same thing.

which is better, sustainable fashion or slow fashion?


We hope we have cleared the differences between all of these fashion movements for you and now you have learned to differentiate them. We also have to say that we have learned a lot from writing this article as we wrongfully did not differentiate them before from one another. Now it is crucial to put this information into good practice the next time you look at sustainable garments because even if you don’t think to, your small choices make a big difference in our world.

We are thrilled to teach people all around the world 🙂 Also, did you really know what Fast Fashion really is and its terrible consequences for the environment, the planet, the workers, society, and the economy? Do you know exactly what the Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion movement is? You should really take a look at these articles about this forgotten and unknown but very urgent and important subject, click here to read „Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?”, or Fast Fashion 101 | How It’s Destroying Our Planet because knowledge is one of the most powerful strengths you can have, while ignorance is your worst weakness.

We also have a big surprise for you! Because we want to give you the right to know us better, we have prepared a carefully dedicated About Us page where we will tell you who we are, what our mission is, what we do, a closer look at our team, and many more things! Do not miss this opportunity and click here to check it out. Also, we invite you to take a look at our Pinterest, where we will pin everyday sustainable fashion-related content, clothing designs, and other things that you will surely love!