Ethical sustainable “slow” fashion is not just a trend, it is a reality that is gathering momentum amongst a committed group of followers who are adopting this principle in their everyday life. Here we explore some of the benefits of slow fashion and why it inevitably will gradually replace fast fashion.

What is slow fashion?

According to the MacMillan English Dictionary, Slow fashion is

“A term which describes clothing which lasts a long time and is often made from locally-sourced or fair-trade material.”/

Kat Collings on the Who What Wear fashion blog has this definition:

Slow fashion is about consuming and creating fashion consciously and with integrity. It connects social and environmental awareness and responsibility with the pleasure of wearing beautiful, well-made, and lasting clothing (as compared to the immediate gratification of fast fashion).

List of Benefits

Just some of the benefits are summarised below:

  • Cruelty free – avoids the use of fur, hide and skin in clothing manufacture and also does not involve the testing of animals in manufacturing
  • Eco-friendly benefits:
    • Chemical free manufacture – slow fashion manufacturers use non-toxic dyes and anti-bacterial fabrics, etc. which are beneficial to both workers and wearers of the clothing
    • Less waste – encourages timeless fashion and wearing clothes for a long-time as opposed to buying seasonal fashion trends
    • An EU report said in the year 2015 the global textiles and clothing industry caused:
      • CO2 emissions – 1,715 million tons of CO2 emissions
      • Waste – 92 million tons of waste
      • Water consumption – 79 billion cubic metres of water
    • Fairtrade and Fair Wear Benefits:
      • Fair wages – workers earn fair wages, at least the minimum wage in their country
      • Improved working conditions – clothing is produced in safe factories usually with accreditations such as Fairtrade and Fair Wear
    • Mental health – as discussed by Georgina Johnson in her exhibitions “slow fashion to save minds”, there are many associated mental health benefits
    • Save money – ethical fashion consumers can save money by adopting a minimalist lifestyle and wardrobe. It’s liberating to be free of needing to follow seasonal fashion trends and also helps many to develop their own sense of personal style
    • Supporting SMEs and artisans – whilst fast fashion is often dominated by multinationals and large companies, buying slow fashion often means support for SMEs and Artisans

Examples of sustainable, ethical and slow fashion sellers on GoEthical

  • Bluehanded – embracing slow-fashion principles, Bluehanded make a range of fashion items from Lan Yin Hua Bu Indigo fabric in Asia

Bringing fast fashion to an end

Many fast fashion “addicts” are often never happy with a feeling of “they never have enough”. Becoming a part of the fast fashion movement rejects this thought, instead adopting minimalist ethical values of “what I have is enough”. Save time, anxiety and hard-earned cash by developing a timeless wardrobe of essential clothing.

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Image Credit: Who What Wear and Greenpeace

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