What is 'Slow Fashion' Anyway?

It was a pleasure to write this article for Ressac Bags in Quebec, Canada.

Hello. My name is Jedannah.

Last year, I took a pledge to adopt sustainable fashion practices and to share what I learn with the world.

Since then, I've learned many things, and my shopping habits have changed dramatically.

Most importantly, I feel better about my finances, my purchases, my connection with my clothes and the world. It's the ultimate detox if you're a fashionista. 

So what's this all about anyway? Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion. And what gives?

By now, you may be quite familiar with the Slow Food Movement and the sustainable production of healthy foods for people and the planet.

Well, the Slow Fashion Movement was inspired by the Slow Food Movement which began in the 1980s by an Italian journalist and political activist named Carlo Petrini.

The Slow Movement is not an organization or controlled by any organization, it's a social movement that believes in re-establishing a healthy pace in the cycle of life's necessities. Contrary to its name, the 'Slow Movement' isn't about just slowing down the pace of life. The philosophy focuses on re-establishing the right speed for the creation, consumption and enjoyment of life's stages. It believes that some parts of life and human interaction cannot be sped up without loss in quality, sustainability and effectiveness. The application of this theory spans across several human experiences including food, fashion, parenting, and work. 

The term "Slow Fashion" was coined by Kate Fletcher at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK in 2007.

It claims that people benefit from less impulsive consumption of clothing and that fashion's true worth comes from a sustainable approach to style.

The 'Slow Fashion' movement encourages people to re-establish a loving, caring, intimate relationship with their clothes, to understand how they were created and should be treated so that they last longer. It pushes people to deny impulsive behaviour of buying cheap clothing regularly, because everyone knows that impulse purchases eat away at finances and rarely result in good investments. Overactive consumerism also pillages the planet.

Slow Fashion practices:

  • buying less
  • buying high quality 
  • buying sustainably/ethically produced
  • buying vintage
  • buying recycled or upcycled 

People adopting Slow Fashion practices encourage fashion brands to produce better clothing, with better working conditions for garment producers and the planet.

It helps consumers to regain control of their choices. No more slaves to fashion. No more slaves to trends. No more garment workers as slaves either.

When I tried sustainable fashion for the first time, I had no idea how much it would impact my life. People worried that it would be a difficult exercise. Here's what I learned:

Clothing is social. It's about human interaction. Sure, you need clothing to protect you from the elements, but people dress for person and social reasons: to present themselves to the world; to share information about their style, status and personality. You are what you buy. So clothing also reflects how you feel about the world. 

Slow Fashion is definitely not a perfectionist exercise. No harsh judgement allowed. It's a journey of love and progress. Reviving an appreciation for well-made clothes that last many seasons and survives many trends is about buying less, and buying quality. It feels great, and my wardrobe is better than ever before. So is my bank account. 

Focus on quality has been the approach of style icons for generations. It's simple: If you want to look like them, then do like them.

Slow Fashion: Try it on for size.

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