slow fashion 101 | saving the planet from fast fashion

what is the sustainable fashion movement?

The Sustainable Fashion movement aims for sustainability in the fashion industry, strongly opposing Fast Fashion, a terrible business model that produces 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global wastewaters, polluting our rivers and seas. This planet-killing business practice is also responsible for the buy-n-throw and excessive consumerism culture that pollutes our soil and waters with tons of textile waste, as 85% of all Fast Fashion garments are thrown each year.

Sustainable Fashion differs from Slow Fashion in the path it takes to achieve sustainability in the fashion industry, while Slow Fashion focuses more on clothes that are produced with slower manufacturing cycles, fair tradeand supporting smaller businesses, while also caring for the sustainability and quality of its garments, Sustainable Fashion puts a little more weight in the ecological impact of its clothes, using organic, recycled materials like organic ring-spun cotton and other environmentally-friendly biodegradable materials.

At the end of the day, all these anti-fast fashion movements want to achieve the same thing, they just differ in the path they take and on what they consider more important. For example, Ethical Fashion focuses more on the welfare of textile workers, who are exploited in the Fast Fashion industry with inhumane wages and terrible working conditions, many times reaching modern slavery.

How to do slow fashion

how the sustainable fashion industry is growing

This sustainable fashion movement is still very small, unfortunately, but the growing awareness of customers about the repercussions of their fashion choices is changing the way the fashion industry is behaving, one step at a time. 

Sustainable fashion has seen a great increase in the last years, with the worldwide ethical fashion market arriving at a value of almost $6.35 billion in 2020, it has expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% starting around 2015. The sustainable fashion market is relied upon to develop from $6.5 billion in 2020 to $10.11 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 9.7%.

This is great news for our planet and our society, however, sustainable fashion is not growing as fast as it is needed to avoid permanent damage to your planet. As we always say here, the biggest weapon we can use to defeat Fast Fashion and achieve sustainability in the industry is knowledge, informing yourself, and spreading awareness of the subject, because only then will customers begin to change their habits for the better.

How Is The Fashion Industry Becoming More Sustainable

the difference between slow, ethical and sustainable fashion

We may sometimes use these terms as similar and synonyms, but in reality, they differ a little bit in their meaning, so it is not accurate to use them as complete synonyms. We will explain right now the differences between them, having said this, here are the differences between slow fashion, ethical fashion and sustainable fashion:

  • Slow Fashion refers to a movement that directly opposes Fast Fashion and all the terrible consequences it has on our world. It promotes high-quality garments made with ethical labor and sustainable materials, in long and realistic manufacturing cycles that do not sacrifice our planet. It searches for small businesses that offer innovation and competitiveness, strongly opposing the buy-n-throw culture imposed by Fast Fashion and unnecessary consumerism.
  • Ethical Fashion is a movement that aims for a fashion industry that prioritizes fair trade and ethical work, strongly opposing inhumane wages and exploited workers in modern slavery conditions that work in the Fast Fashion industry producing cheap low-quality clothes. It also fights for the rights of all the agents involved in garment production, like small vendors and other types of workers.
  • Sustainable Fashion aims for the fashion industry with minimal environmental impact, focusing more on the ecological aspect of the garment and its production process. It prioritizes garments made from organic, recycled biodegradable materials like organic ring-spun cotton. it also searches for more local vendors that do not have to ship items intercontinental, to avoid more Co2 emissions.

These fashion movements may have their differences, but their similarities are much greater, as all of them aim for sustainability and ethicality in the fashion industry. They differ just in the path they plan to take to achieve that, but other than that, they are equally great and they equally oppose Fast Fashion.

Why Is Slow Fashion Expensive?

how is fast fashion destroying our planet?

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 Group

    We 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.

  • Primark

    This 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).

  • Shein

    This 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.

  • Mango

    This 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 OutfittersThis 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 promote sustainable fashion

why fast fashion is still so popular

In the late 90s and early 2000s this new fashion model took over the streets, it became a booming industry in America with people enthusiastically going shopping for bags full of clothes, many of them not even being used. Brands such as Zara, H&M, Topshop, and Primark took over high street fashion and became the new norm in the fashion industry.

The reason this business model is still popular is that consumers like the cheap prices of these garments, which are so low because these fast fashion brands outsource their costs to the environment and their workers, profiting from cheap labor and not caring at all about the environment. These cheap prices also let their customers buy more and more clothes that they do not even need for the simple fact that they are affordable and do not suppose a financial burden for the customer.

The other reason is the marketing superiority these fast fashion retailers have, with campaigns that get to their potential customers and ultimately make them decide to buy their products. Sustainable Fashion brands do not have the resources to compete against them and sadly today there aren’t many people aware of the problem of fashion and why it needs to be changed. This is the reason we write this blog, to try and spread awareness so we can ditch the planet-killing fast fashion and turn to a more sustainable and respectable fashion model.

Extending more on that, sadly today most people don’t even know what fast or slow or sustainable fashion means, why fashion needs to be changed, or that fashion even has a carbon footprint on our planet, which is very bad and actually surprising considering the gigantic impact of this industry on the planet. This is why people should start talking more about it, sharing news and articles on social media to spread awareness, because if we don’t even know what Sustainable Fashion is or why it exists, we will never spend our money on it.

At the end of the day, some people argue that customers are to blame for purchasing Fast Fashion garments and feeding an industry that is feasting on our planet, while others argue that companies are the sole responsible for this great issue in today’s world. In reality, we can’t blame any of them, nor the customer who unknowingly wants to save their hard-earned money by purchasing these garments, nor the company who produces the goods and services necessary for our day-to-day lives and created a more seemingly „efficient” production model (Even Einstein indirectly contributed to the invention of the atomic bomb).

What is to blame is the lack of information regarding this subject, the fact that most people don’t even know about this at all. This is why it is crucial to spread awareness on this issue because if people don’t know what fast-fashion is, we will never come close to ending it!

Is Zara Fast Fashion?

the UN alliance for sustainable fashion

This is a United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion initiative with the intent of achieving a Sustainable Fashion industry that does not compromise our world. This alliance is the result of a growing fashion industry that is causing many problems worldwide that compromise development and the environment, problems that are only expected to grow more and more if something is not done to stop it.

It focuses on coordinating the different bodies in the UN that contribute to the fashion production chain in order to achieve sustainability and especially development in the countries involved in this production chain, a chain which involved 300 million people worldwide and growing.

It also focuses on the environmental impact of the industry and wants to avoid the terrible and permanent impacts the fashion industry will have on our planet. This UN Alliance monitors garments from the raw materials that it contains to their production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, as every one of these phases is very important and can be improved greatly.

Overall, this movement made by the United Nations towards Sustainable Fashion is great, but it could be much greater. If they really take this as seriously as it needs to be taken, they use funding correctly, make a move to inform fashion consumers, and use a type of sustainable fashion consultant to monitor the production process of fashion and determine its sustainability, then this project can greatly succeed, we just have to see if it goes to anything.

Does fast fashion provide jobs

the best sustainable fashion businesses

Now that you know the importance of sustainable fashion industry, we have to give you the best examples of retailers that abide by this sustainable fashion movement, retailers that sell their products online that you can buy right now. Having said this, here are the best sustainable fashion businesses online:

  • 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.

To sum it up, we do have a lot of choices literally in the palm of our hands, so there is no excuse other than not having enough money to quit buying Fast Fashion. Either way, if you want to know more about what you can do for sustainable fashion even if you don’t have money, check out how to do slow fashion.

Sustainable Fashion Brands


Anyway, we hope this article has been of great help and that it added some information you did not know about, we surely learned something too by writing this article! If you want to inform yourself more on the subject, we have a lot of articles on our blog talking about fashion and fashion-related matters.

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!