slow fashion 101 | the cure against fast fashion
what does slow fashion mean?
It is a term used to describe the fashion movement that directly opposes Fast Fashion and its short manufacturing cycles that destroy our planet and exploit its workers. Fast Fashion quickly turns trends into clothes its customers can devour with no regard for its impacts on our planet and society, today, Fast Fashion is responsible for 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and for 20% of wastewater production that pollute our rivers and seas.
Slow Fashion promotes sustainable clothes, small brands, and an ethical business model that cares for the environment, the people, and the customers. It opposes the buy-n-throw Fast Fashion culture, overproduction, and unnecessary consumerism that generates tons of textile waste every year. We will talk a little bit in more detail about this subject because there is a lot more to be talked.
Slow Fashion combines other movements like Sustainable Fashion, which especially focuses on the ecological sustainability of its clothes, using organic and ecological materials and production processes, and Ethical Fashion, which focuses on the welfare of the textile workers who are exploited in the Fast Fashion industry. At the end of the day, they all want to achieve the same thing, a sustainable fashion industry but have different means of achieving that goal. If you want to know more about these differences be sure to check this article on What Is The Difference Between Slow Fashion And Sustainable Fashion.
slow fashion production model
This anti-fast fashion model focuses on producing clothes with respect for the environment, people, and society. It uses short manufacturing cycles and fair trade, which is a system of certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient, being the total opposite of Fast Fashion. This goes hand-in-hand with Ethical Fashion, respecting the workers and all the agents involved in the production process of the fashion garments.
One of the most noted production models Slow Fashion has is the on-demand business model, which consists of producing the garments only when the customers purchase them, avoiding the big environmental impact of overproduction and stocking. A business model like this is a complete game-changer. Although it is still relatively new in the fashion industry and is mostly used by small businesses today, which kind of goes in pair with Slow Fashion’s values.
Slow Fashion also searches for clothes that are produced with minimal environmental impact, and this is where Sustainable Fashion comes in. It searches for clothes that are made from biodegradable and organic materials, like organic ring-spun cotton and recycled materials, also producing high-quality garments avoiding unnecessary consumerism and the bu-n-throw culture that pollutes our soil and waters when the garments are thrown.
Although Slow Fashion garments can sometimes be more expensive, that is because it doesn’t outsource their costs to the environment, the planet or the workers like Fast Fashion does. You may pay now a bigger monetary cost but that is a bigger cost you and everyone will save on everything else. Plus, Slow Fashion doesn’t always have to be expensive, as we have discussed in this article about whether it will ever be affordable or not.
slow fashion companies
You now know more about this fashion movement, but you may wonder where you can buy these garments from, do not worry, we got your back, and we will give you the answers you search for. Here are the best slow fashion brands you can buy from:
Grammar NYC:This beautiful store sells one of the best clothes out there, not only do they use the best quality materials, but they also make their designs with FASHION in mind. The only bad thing about this brand is its price, which is arguably very high, but at least the quality and sustainability match the price greatly. You can visit their store here.
Two Days Off:This store uses locally produced, ecological clothes made with recycled materials. They use linen, cotton, wool, and hemp for their products. Like the last one, price is not their strength, but they do offer original and stylish clothing. You can visit their store here.
ABLE:This Ethical Slow Fashion Brand has clothing and accessories made fairly by makers around the world. They are taking a big step in the way for transparency in the fashion industry by publishing their wages. Their clothes are more affordable than the other brands but still not as cheap as one would like to. You can visit their store here.
Valani:This colorful Plant-based clothing brand creates mostly feminine clothing for a lighter living. Valani’s dreamy garments are made from low-impact fibers like hemp, Tencel, and banana viscose, a bit like Two Days Off. Additionally, the brand uses strategic cutting techniques and reuses fabric scraps to minimize waste. They have really colorful clothes that you should check out here.
PLEA:This is our own brand! We too offer sustainable slow fashion clothing that you can buy. We mostly focus on t shirts, hoodies, and accessories, but they’re at an affordable price, and not only that, but we offer customizable clothes, That’s right! You can create a custom t shirt, hoodie, or accessories so we can then make them and sent them to you because we use a revolutionary method that does not involve creating tons of clothes before selling them, we just produce them on command! You can check out our shop here.
If you are wondering it, yes, there are many slow fashion retailers that offer plus size slow fashion clothes, so do not worry about it. Some of them are much more affordable than others and you can purchase from them online, so you have a lot of slow fashion options to change your harmful fashion habits!
Unfortunately, there are not many options right now that are really sustainable and slow fashion, and that is because people are not searching for them, as many customers still buy from Fast Fashion retailers without knowing how big of an impact their choices are making on our world.
why is fast fashion so bad?
Fast Fashion was born in the 90s, it is a business model that quickly tracks trends and turns them into clothes as fast as possible that are available for the customers to buy. It uses short manufacturing cycles that are very harmful to the environment and the workers and produces low-quality clothing that makes customers buy more and more, feeding consumerism and the buy-n-throw culture that pollutes our soil and waters with all the disposal that is generated from these thrown garments.
It produces 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global wastewaters that pollute rivers and seas. Furthermore, 85% of all Fast Fashion garments are thrown in landfills each year, which combined with the fact that these garments are made from harmful, synthetic, and non-biodegradable materials, is a very scary fact. What’s worse, its terrible quality clothes, which are usually made from polyester, decompose leaving microplastics that will further pollute our waters and soil.
And we haven’t even talked about the workers, who are paid inhumane wages and have terrible working conditions, many times being in a semi-slavery state with no working protection at all. All of this is to produce low-quality garments that are so cheap customers have to buy more and more even if they don’t need to just because these clothes are so affordable, which generated the buy-n-throw consumerism culture that is destroying our planet today.
And now you may wonder, what are the most notorious and consumed Fast Fashion brands out there? Well, even if you didn’t ask yourself this question, it is good for you to see with your own eyes which of the brands you may even be a consumer of are guilty of practicing this terrible business practice, you may be surprised, or not. Without more hesitation, here are the most notorious fast fashion brands:
The Inditex GroupWe put the whole Inditex fashion group here, which owns brands like Zara or Pull&Bear because they all revolve around Fast Fashion, not only that, Zara is even the pioneer in this unethical business practice and that’s the reason why many people are avoiding buying from them.
PrimarkThis Irish company is well-known for its extremely cheap (and poor quality) clothes. This is one of the living Fast Fashion examples to avoid. Some time ago they were involved in a scandal where they supposedly used child labor in third world countries, although we can’t and will not confirm that (we prefer not to get a lawsuit).
SheinThis brand takes Fast Fashion to a whole other level, we may even e able to say that they have invented the Ultra-Fast Fashion, selling extremely cheap clothes of dreadful quality by the ton. Their manufacturing cycles last only a few days and they monitor, eveand n create trends 24/7 with their strong social media presence. They have been involved in innumerable scandals which with only hearing one of them should convince you to not buy from them ever. This is a very interesting topic on its own, so we invite you to read our article on SHEIN or Vox’s article about Shein’s Ultra-Fast Fashion model.
MangoThis brand is popular in many countries, and its clothes are worn by many people worldwide. However, its Fast Fashion practices have led them to be part of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which took the lives of many factory workers, which shows the bad working conditions they are in.
- Urban Outfitters
This fast fashion brand is also known for considering textile workers’ rights as optional and producing cheap fast fashion clothes. Also, worse than that is that they have also been flagged for stealing designs from independent small creators for their own benefit, which is completely unethical.
Sadly, almost all if not all the most popular fashion brands today sell Fast Fashion, not only that, there are others like SHEIN who took destroying the planet into a literal sports race. However, we will see more sustainable Slow Fashion brands in the future, and that is if the customers become informed and aware of the consequences of their buying choices because if they don’t we will unfortunately never see any change.
how to change from fast fashion to slow fashion?
You now know why this anti-fast fashion movement is so important and why you need to change your fashion habits, which have a great transcendence on our planet and society. The question still is, how can we change our fashion habits and adapt to a more sustainable Slow Fashion model?
There are many ways we can do this, not only by buying from more sustainable retailers and small brands that care about their environmental impact but also by changing a few things in our day-to-day lives. Having said this, here is how to do slow fashion:
- Choose small businesses, this way you will promote small entrepreneurs, innovation, and competitiveness. Small businesses care more about the environment, they have a smaller and more humble team and you will be supporting small entrepreneurs while purchasing their products.
- Look at the materials used in the garment, choose cotton, preferably organic or recycled ring-spun cotton and avoid synthetic materials like polyester which are not biodegradable and leave small microplastics polluting our waters.
- Look into the brand you want to purchase from, learn if they use ethical business practices or if they respect the environment. If they don’t even have a page talking about their environmental and social impacts or the goals on that subject that is a big red flag.
- The 3 W’s Rule, When you see an item of clothing for the first time in an undisclosed amount of time and you ask yourself What? When? From Who? then you know you have too many clothes that you don’t need.
- The 30 Day Rule, whenever you decide to buy some clothing product ask yourself „Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?” if the answer is true yes, then go on. You will be surprised to know how many times you say no.
- Donate Clothes, Fast Fashion garments still pollute our soils when they end up in the landfill, letting harmful toxic materials leak into the soil and potentially into the water, instead of throwing your clothes, you should donate or recycle them. If you want to learn more about this feel free to check Planet Aid.
- Use your critical thinking, determine if the brand you are looking at is really sustainable by taking into consideration the price of its clothes, if they talk about sustainability or not, if they have been involved in any scandals and if they have apologized…
As long as you try to change your habits, you are making a big difference on our planet. What we did not say yet though is one of the most important things you can do to stop Fast Fashion is to inform yourself and spread awareness, share news, and articles, talking about it with your friends. This is for a simple reason, we are not making such impacting changes because almost no one knows what Fast Fashion is and why it is so bad and if they don’t know what it is they are never going to fight against it. We recommend you read The Ecologist’s article on Fast Fashion.
We hope you have learned everything about this revolutionary fashion movement called Slow Fashion! We personally have also learned a lot by writing this article and it has helped us a lot in our day-to-day lives. It is however crucial you put this information into good practice, and you start making changes for the better because even if you don’t think so, your small changes make a big difference long-term. One of the most important changes you can do is to inform yourself, and then inform others because as we have seen so many times, the most powerful tool we can use to destroy Fast Fashion is knowledge.
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!