To explain what slow fashion is, you first need to know what we mean by fast fashion. Literally translated, fast fashion means ‘quick fashion’. Not only is the clothing seasonal, they collections also change a couple of times between the seasons. Fast fashion contributes to the disposable culture. The clothes are often only worn for a short time and quickly end up in a bag for charity. The clothing is relatively cheap and of low quality. Because let’s be honest, the tops that you bought for a few euros in the sale are already worn out after wearing them a few times, right? Slow fashion is the sustainable alternative to fast fashion.
What is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is sustainable clothing that is not tied to the seasons or to rapidly changing collections. The clothing is of high quality and therefore lasts much longer. A sustainable wardrobe is often filled with a number of basic classics that you can combine a lot with. For example, think of your favourite pair of jeans, a blouse, a pair of sneakers and a basic dress. The clothing is a bit more expensive to purchase, but it also lasts for years. And that’s not the only upside: slow fashion is also produced responsibly, meaning it’s better for the people and the planet.
Slow fashion clothing is produced fairly and responsibly. This means that the employees who make the clothes work in good conditions and are paid fairly for their work. It also has an environmentally friendly production process. The clothing isn’t made in large quantities, so no materials are wasted. A requirement for the slow fashion industry is transparency about their production method: it must be clear how the item is produced and where it’s made. If this is not under the right circumstances, then it’s not slow fashion.
How do you recognize slow fashion?
You can recognize sustainable clothing by the quality of the material. The clothing is often made with thicker materials such as organic cotton, wool or linen, in contrast to the synthetic fabrics that are used by larger clothing brands. You can also spot sustainable clothing by looking at the finishes. Are the edges not stitched properly or does it have a cheap zipper? Chances are it’s fast fashion.
Where do you buy sustainable clothing?
Nowadays there are quite a few stores that offer affordable, sustainable clothing. So if you want to start buying sustainable clothing, but don’t know where to start, here are some tips. There are a number of larger brands such as Armedangels, Kings of Indigo and MUD Jeans that produce sustainable clothing. But there are also many creative, small clothing stores such as the Nukuhiva in Utrecht.
Where do I check if a brand is sustainable?
Good news for those of you who would like to do a deep dive into the online world of sustainable clothing brands! Good On You gives sustainable and ethical brand ratings to clothing brands. In their ratings you can see whether the brand is good for the planet, people and animals (environment, materials, labour and PETA). Now you have all the tools to start your sustainable journey!