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When it comes to buying clothing we all want a wardrobe that works for us whilst being versatile and stylish. We are often restricted by budget, but building a capsule wardrobe that actually makes sense for your lifestyle and investing in good quality pieces will actually be more cost effective in the long run.
A lot of brands are heading towards seasonless collections and promoting timeless pieces in better fabrics. There has never been a better time to embrace the Slow Fashion Revolution.
What is Slow Fashion
First off lets get to grips with what the term slow fashion actually means. Slow fashion is the alternative approach to fast fashion, and promotes a slower, more sustainable approach.
It increases awareness of what actually is involved in making a garment from design to shop, considering the processes and resources required, focusing particulary on sustainability.
We see fast fashion companies churning out new styles almost every week, with little thought to the quality or longevity of the garment. Rather than think of the end use of the garment, retailers are encouraging consumers to buy a lot for less and discard asap to buy the next ‘new’ thing. This is obviously a terrible model and not sustainable for our planet and also promtoes cheap labour and poor conditions.
We have to look back in order to move forward to see where, as a society, we have gone wrong. Pre-industrial revolution, garments were locally sourced and produced. Enphasis was on buying good quality clothing made from natural fabrics.
The slow fashion model we see today embraces some of these old ways and encourages buying less and buying better, pushing brands to be more transparent and the consumer to be more concious as to where they spend their hard earned cash.
It also puts the focus back onto skilled design and the art of craftsmanship, making fashion fun and exciting again and less throw away. Also slow fashion companies produce garments in house or locally either in small batches or one of pieces allowing full control over labour conditions and ensuring better pay.
How can we shop ethically?
Consumers are becoming more and more informed. They are seeing the effects that their purchase choice has both environmentally and ethically. This is increasing support for the slow fashion revolution as there is a higher demand for better standards.
Most slow fashion brands are often in smaller independent stores rather than huge chain stores. They produce fewer styles per collection and release collections 1-3 times per year. Garments are usually sourced and produced locally and made from high quality, sustainable fabrics. Collections are not chasing trends and are usually considered garments with great details that you will want to wear year after year.
Buy better quality garments that will last and buy less. Look at the inside of a garment to check seam construction. If it has been made well the seams will be sturdy, garments made to last will be finished well and made in good quality fabrics.
Go vintage hunting and find amazing pieces that no one else will have. You could modernise a vintage piece by shortening the hem or adding a belt.
Shop at brands that show certificates and badges which signify that they have met certain ethical standards. For example here are some of the certificates Braxfield garments hold and the meanings:
- FSC guarantees that the forests where these products are sourced are managed sustainably.
- Oekotex is worldwide association of independent institutes for product safety and sustainable production in the textile industry
- GOTS – a textile production certificate that limits the use of toxic bleaches and dyes and other chemical imputs during the production process of textiles. It is internationally recognised as the toughest organic textle standard because it includes every part of the manufacturing process.
- Other certifications to look for include: EU Ecolabel, PETA-Approved Vegan, USDA Organic.
Becoming part of the slow fashion revolution
Research the brands, retailers, boutiques that you want to buy from, to find out what their sustainable and ethical policies are and if they are doing anything to improve their environmental impact. For example: Addidas are producing trainers from recycled plastic waist.
Check that the brand are transparant and state where they produce garments; how many collections do they produce each year;… This ensures that you are spending your hard earned money wisely.
Be a concious consumer, really think about each purchase before you buy. Ask questions: Why do you need it? How many wears will you get? Is it a trend or will you still be able to wear the garment in years to come?
Repair loved pieces instead of sending them to landfill. If you have to discard an item from your wardrobe give it to a friend or to charity so that the item can stay in use and maybe even make someone feel great or raise money for a good cause.