Have you ever looked at your closet right before a date with countless clothes staring right at you and you still feel like you have nothing to wear? Your exceeding limit of options has left you with outfits that don’t fit well or didn’t go together, looked shabby or shrunken or faded after a few washes and even worse, looked like last year’s trends? Maybe you bought a lot of them at great discounts, but what seemed like reasonable bargains, turned into things you never want to wear or wore.
Fashion, for us is a term that denotes great style, brands and classy clothes that make you stand out from the rest and make us feel confident. We buy the latest trends from leading brands who manufacture mass produced fashion. Seldom do we think about the process of how garments these are made, where they are made, who makes them and in under what conditions.
Were the cotton seeds morally sourced? Where did the yarn come from? Who made the garment? Is it safe to say that they are working in sweatshops? Does any of this matter?
As we strive to become eco- friendly conscious consumers, one thing becomes very apparent, that it is not so easy to understand the fashion supply chain. It is complex and difficult for designers and consumers alike to be aware of every detail about their clothes. It takes more effort to discover which brands go that additional mile to achieve sustainability, be it through their work ethics, utilising 100% natural and organic materials while practising fair trade.
The sloping walls of a funnel are used as a metaphor to explain the behaviours of consumers to visualise the test of sustainability of the current fashion industry. On the off chance that the industry continues expanding at the present rate, the effect on the social and natural condition will increase just the same. This leaves the industry an extremely limited space to deal with these effects later on and resolve the issues society is confronting today. This is where Slow Fashion comes in to save the day. In conclusion to using this metaphor we as consumers and manufacturers do not want to hit the so called “narrowing walls of the funnel”. This crossover, if achieved, will very likely result in environmental equilibrium, where consumer behaviour and natural resources do not have a conflict. Moreover, the fashion industry can carry on without compromising the health of the world.
First coined by Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Slow Fashion in simple terms represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement. Experts feel that this slow approach interferes as a revolutionary process in the contemporary world because it promotes taking time to ensure good quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment. Fast fashion, on the other hand deals with unethically procured mass produced garments. Unethical treatment of laborers in sweatshops and less wages is a common characteristics.
Slow Fashion must emerge as a sustainable fashion model. To make sure this happens, certain values have been put into place for manufacturers and designers to follow, to ensure that the connection with the environment is not compromised. This approach aims to encourage creativity and is expected to spark a dialogue with and between designers, manufactures, retailers and other parties.
Slow Fashion is not just the sustainable and judicious use of raw materials but it also has a vested purpose – to meet human needs. This designers do by co-creating garments and offering fashion with emotional significance and involving the customer to be part of the story behind a garment or its design process. Slow Fashion focuses on using local materials and resources when possible and try to support the development of local businesses, crafts and skills. This movement encourages classic designs over temporary trends and this shall contribute to the longevity of garments. A number of Slow Fashion designers are ensuring the longevity of their clothing by sourcing high quality fabrics, offering traditional designs but creating beautiful, timeless pieces.
Pioneers of this movement need to maintain benefits, competition and increase in their visibility in the market. Costs are regularly higher because of the fact that they incorporate sustainable resources and reasonable wages. This implies making choices based on a personal and individual interests, symbiotic relation with the environment and to take up accountability and responsibility. Inside the Slow Fashion development, many individuals cherish what they do, and seek to have positive effect on the environment in an inventive and creative way.
In conclusion, the simple way forward and to promote this movement is to involve the consumers in the entire process of garment making and ensuring 100% transparency. The quest to make fashion more sustainable is not an easy road. The utilisation of natural and organic materials and fair trade practices makes articles of clothing costlier. In any case, in the long run, sustainable fashion will be long-lasting and is showing signs of improvement. The attractions of Slow Fashion are unquestionably solid, but slow and steady, in this case, slow and sustainable shall conquer the finish line.