Kate Fletcher, professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (London), proclaimed this idea of sustainable fashion consumption in 2007, promoting it as a new concept that is understood to be more consciously and sensitively with the environment, workers and consumers.
Back then, this concept did not have a great impact on society, but step by step, the consumers' way of thinking has been evolving so that they are increasingly concerned about the environment. They now stand for transparency, biodegradable and non-polluting materials, as well as for a more ethical and responsible vision in the production and consumption of clothing.
According to a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Every year, half a million tons of microfiber are thrown into the sea, which is equivalent to three million barrels of oil. The clothing industry uses 93 million cubic meters of water, enough to satisfy five million people.
Slow fashion is a philosophy that is committed to a more sustainable fashion from its production to its commercialization, directly influencing the buying habits of consumers. Basically, it prioritizes product quality to achieve greater durability of clothing and textile production that respects the environment and is carried out under ethical conditions supporting the human and labor rights of workers.
Beyond being a movement and a trend, Slow Fashion is connected to the values of a brand and, in some way, to the values of the consumer when choosing to make a purchase in one store or another.
Slow fashion promotes a more responsible attitude towards the consumption of clothing. The customer should be informed about the materials' origin, the place of production, the quality of the product, and more , in order to know who manufactured the product, how it was made and under what working conditions.
Some of the main characteristics of Slow Fashion are:
It is very important to use environmentally friendly materials such as wool, bamboo, cotton or hemp, as well as recycled nylon and polyester.
High quality and durability
As opposed to throwaway fashion, Slow fashion opts for producing quality garments that, although they have a higher price, can be used over time, and be amortized as much as possible.
Timeless garments so that they do not go out of fashion and, thus, increase their usability.
Slow Fashion is committed to produce and sell fashion articles that do not have a defined time of use, but you can give them a long use and wear them on different occasions. Most Slow fashion brands launch two or three collections a year with more neutral designs so that they do not go out of fashion.
Zero-Km products; garments sourced, produced and sold locally.
As with food products, local clothing reduces the environmental impact caused by transportation. In addition, encouraging the production and consumption of clothes in local markets will benefit the local economy.
Fair prices; higher, but more economical over the years
Sustainable fashion is committed to fair prices, which are initially higher but become more economical over the years, since these pieces of clothing have greater durability and quality. This means that it will not be necessary to buy a lot of clothes, but to buy quality clothes.
Increased recycling to take advantage of the resources invested in each garment
One of the most common options for recycling clothes and extending their life cycle is to reuse clothes from others that are no longer used, but are still in good condition. Nowadays, there are many second-hand and vintage clothing stores that sell reused products to give them a second chance.
Fair working conditions and fair wages
To make the products part of fair trade, the human and labor rights of the workers who have been part of the production process at any time, must have been previously respected.
Production of fewer garments from the same collection; often made to order.
Because of excessive production, Slow fashion tries to manufacture a limited number of fashion pieces to ensure their sale, even making clothes on demand in order to avoid accumulating and storing products that have not been sold.
Avoid compulsive buying
Check the labeling of each garment
Buy second-hand clothing and donate unworn clothing
Choose clothes made with sustainable products
Opt for handmade products (local companies and fair trade)
Slow Fashion is here to stay and people are increasingly choosing to consume more consciously and responsibly in order to contribute to a fairer and more sustainable economy.
Slow fashion is an emerging movement in the fashion industry that focuses on sustainability and quality over quantity. When we buy Slow fashion, we invest in clothes that will have a long life to support sustainable practices, fair working conditions and local economies.
In a way, Slow Fashion encourages society to be more selective in its clothing choices and to support companies that are more socially and environmentally aware.