Lessen your Load
Slow Fashion v Fast Fashion
Slow fashion is fast catching on. But what is it exactly?
Slow fashion is an awareness of how the clothes came to be, what was required to make the clothing, where was the clothing made and by whom. Slow fashion particularly focuses on sustainability and is the polar opposite to fast fashion which is low quality, high quantity, often made in countries with no fair pay for workers and poor working conditions. Fast fashion emerged to keep up with changing trends and these clothes are typically so badly made with such low-quality materials that you’ll toss them out as soon as the trend fades.
Slow fashion on the other hand means buying better-quality garments that will last longer and values fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.
Fast fashion has been around for more than 20 years and with some brands burning over 10 tonnes of unsold garments per year, Slow Fashion is 100% necessary.
Effects of Fashion Waste
- Microfibers from fabrics wind up in the ocean and threaten aquatic life
- Clothes made of synthetic fibres don’t break down — adding to our landfills
- Making clothes generates an increased use of toxins and pesticides
- The push to be on trend and on style leads to quickly and poorly made clothing
Some characteristics of a Slow Fashion brand
- Made from high quality, sustainable materials
- Often in smaller (local) stores rather than larger department stores
- Locally sourced, produced and sold garments
- Few, specific styles per collection, which are released twice or maximum three times per year.
As consumers are educating themselves about the impact they have on the environment, fashion labels are taking a stand against fast fashion and prioritizing ethical fashion using eco-friendly materials.
What you can do to reduce fashion waste
- Host a Clothing Swap: Get your neighbours, co-workers, and friends to bring over clothes they’re no longer interested in wearing and do a “swap.” This helps extends the life cycle of the clothing (and it’s fun).
- Shop Smart: When you do go shopping, start at consignment and second hand and op shops stores before buying new. Find ethical and sustainable brands to support new wardrobes.
- Tailor to Your Style: Focus less on what’s trending or what’s on discount. Take the time to figure out your own personal style and find clothes you’ll love to wear again and again.
- Rent, Reuse, Recycle: More and more brands are moving to clothing subscriptions so you can rent new clothes rather than purchase. This allows you to change up your style without adding to the landfill.
Quality over Quantity: Downsize your wardrobe and be sure to donate or sell the items you no longer need! Having a minimalist wardrobe can help you focus on buying less and choosing well-made and longer-lasting clothes.