What is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is part of the “slow movement” applied to fashion and our closets. Basically, it is the opposite to fast fashion and what it entails when it comes to overproduction, exploitation, and waste. From the customer perspective embracing slow fashion means to buy less but better, and mostly products that follow this philosophy.
Slow fashion translates as a respectful way to manufacture caring for people, and the environment. It brings back traditional techniques, appreciates handwork and craft from artisans, cares for the quality of the finishing, the materials, the design, the labor… all as critical parts of the final piece. Slow fashion pieces are very unique and special. There are affordable little pieces of art.
HOW DID THE NAME COME ABOUT?
Kate Fetcher, one of my favorite authors on sustainable fashion, was the one using the term for the first time. In the food industry, we are having a similar situation with fast food chains serving cheap, not-too-nutritious meals at the speed of light. Fashion, with all the one-day trends and new styles, huge manufacturing facilities where humans work like machines is going through the same fast pace of buy, use, dispose, repeat.
But this was not always like these. It is a relatively new movement. Fast fashion as we know it today was born only 20 years ago.
Let us do a bit of history here. You can even ask your grandma. Before the industrial revolution, clothes were locally produced. People would go to the tailor and buy durable clothing or make their own if they had the skills. The focus was for it to last long, so they cared for the quality very much. Clothes, at that time, reflected the place and culture as they were locally sourced and produced and pretty much even custom made.
Fast fashion made us forget the real cost of clothes. Made us forget the skills required to produce them and disconnected us from their origin as the supply chains are so long, complicated and are too far away to feel the pain from the other side of it.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Support local designers, artisans, brands that care for the environment and that produce in an ethical way. In the Middle East we are seeing some amazing designers come to shine and most of them you can find at Goshopia.com. Goshopia is a local online emarketplace that has the 3 S’s as values: Slow, Sustainable and Socially Responsible designers and brands. You can shop by product category or by values. They even have a vegan fashion section and a recently added Home Décor category for all of you wanting to bring that same goodness to your homes.
GreenFootprint.ae is collaborating with Goshopia in spreading the awareness and providing sustainable solutions.