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What is Slow Fashion?

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What does Slow Fashion mean?

“Slow Fashion” is a term that was coined by Kate Fletcher in her book The Ecologist, where she defined it as –
“Slow fashion is about designing, producing, consuming and living better. It is not time-based but quality-based (which has some time components). Slow is not the opposite of fast – there is no dualism – but a different approach in which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities and ecosystem. It is about choice, information, cultural diversity and identity. Yet, critically, it’s also about balance. It requires a combination of rapid imaginative change and symbolic expression as well as durability and long-term engaging, quality products.”

Slow fashion

Also, some of the elements that are prominent are :
1. Vintage clothes
2. Redesigning old clothes
3. Making clothes and accessories at home and buying garments that last longer.
Slow Fashion is counter cultural because the societal norm right now is “more is more” and “faster and cheaper is better”.

Some of the benefits of Slow Fashion may include :
1. It slows down the excessive shopping and makes your lifestyle more natural.
2. With trends changing regularly, it is considered more timeless and a conscious decision.
3. It’s followed so widely now because it’s considered as sustainable fashion now, thus saving the environment from continuous disposition.
Importantly, it’s ethical and it helps with preserving raw materials and mainly, the environment.

How did it start?

Kate Fletcher, who is now considered as the founder of Slow Fashion movement, says that- 
“The concept of slow fashion borrows heavily from the Slow Food Movement. Founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, Slow Food links pleasure and food with awareness and responsibility. It defends biodiversity in our food supply by opposing the standardization of taste, defends the need for consumer information and protects cultural identities tied to food. It has spawned a wealth of other slow movements. Slow Cities, for example, design with slow values but within the context of a town or city and a commitment to improve its citizens’ quality of life.”

Difference between Slow Fashion and Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion involves process of introducing the new styles in the fashion world continuously for the people of all types of market. The collections following the Fast Fashion process are generally from the recent fashion trends. Whereas, Slow Fashion includes using the same garment for a longer time thus, slowing down the over consumption of garments in the name of trends.
Fast Fashion has the potential to produce 11 different garments to make it in the new trend in a year, thus it can harm the environment. In Slow Fashion, we use the same garment for a longer time or remake vintage clothes, thus this type of fashion revolution is considered to be more ethical and sustainable.

How can you follow it?

  • Research about the brands that produce such sustainable clothes, and buy clothes that can last longer.
  • Remake vintage clothes. Try to showcase your fashion sense, by bringing back the lost trends.
  • Always remember to choose “quality over quantity”, and buy clothes that can last longer and better.

Xenya Cherny-Scanlon has also talked about Slow Fashion at TEDxGeneva, you can watch it here.

Written by: Vaishnavi Ngawekar

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