Slow fashion is considered the polar opposite of fast fashion. As the names would suggest, the key variable here is the speed at which goods are produced and consumed. Slow fashion hits the brakes on the model that has thrived for the past 20 years, in which styles are made, marketed and shipped at an unsustainable rate. And, as Condé Nast has perceptively noted, fashion is a sign of the times: a reflection of each generation’s highs and lows. They say that the rise of slow fashion indicates that the world is ready to tackle climate change head on.
Case in point: slow fashion brands. A decade or two ago, these guys were the underdogs of the fashion world. They did things differently, refusing to subscribe to the idea that style is all about convenience, not conscience. Slow fashion brands offered depth in an industry that was in love with its own superficiality. And now, the David to fast fashion’s Goliath, they’re finally getting the traction they need to change the course of clothing history.
What are the principles of slow fashion?
The first principle of slow fashion is sustainability. We’re talking about goods that are made with utmost respect for the environment. You can expect to find recycled and organic fabrics, as well as more innovative fibres like TENCEL™ X REFIBRA™, an extraordinary blend of tree pulp and recycled cotton. Each fabric is engineered to have a lower environmental footprint - from water, to energy, to chemicals. Often, materials are just the starting point for slow fashion brands’ commitments to sustainability. Expect the brand to have broader emissions reduction plans in place.
What sets a slow fashion brand apart is what’s underneath the hood. Go ahead - lift it up! What you’ll find there is a clean, conscious supply chain based on efficiency and minimal waste. This contrasts to the confusing and complex supply chains of major fashion brands, who love to make bold transparency claims and yet can’t tell you exactly where their stock was made.
Slow fashion brands prefer handmade, artisanal fare, over cheap, outsourced manufacturing. While everybody else is busy racing to the bottom, they’re quite happy settling for higher prices, slower production, and better quality. TWOTHIRDS is a good example: we use a pre-order system that prevents overproduction by finding out how much clothing we actually need to fulfil an order. Everything is made in Northern Portugal, where ethical labour standards are upheld.
Slow fashion brands have a purpose in the world. Their CEOs and their team are driven by something bigger than themselves: the desire to protect the environment and preserve it for generations to come. What about style? The aesthetics of slow fashion brands tend to be natural, timeless and minimal. They’re not trend-chasers (or setters) - they prefer to make clothing that lasts and can be used season after season.
In summary, slow fashion brands champion values such as sustainability, durability, taking the time to do things right, transparency, zero waste, tradition, and timelessness.
Why is slow fashion important?
Fashion has an enormous collective impact on the planet, producing an estimated 8% of global emissions. To put that into perspective, aviation accounts for 3.5% of global emissions. But while aviation could be seen as a luxury, people are always going to need clothes!
Slow fashion brands show us the pathway to a future in which fashion makes a far smaller contribution to climate and environmental change. In case you were wondering, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon! And here’s why:
What are the benefits of slow fashion?
1. Reduced personal emissions.
2. Saving money.
4. Less ocean pollution.
We’ll round off by reiterating the idea that slow fashion brands rely on slow fashion consumers. Slow fashion garments are not here to replace fast fashion ones or scratch a consumerist itch. The whole point is to “buy less, choose well, make it last.”