I actually wrote this post over a month ago now, but I’ve been trying to find the pieces of paper ever since, so it looks like I will just have to begin again. I wrote it in a sort of rant with a very passionate tone, because I had just been reading up on the subject and my mind was fresh with the importance of the message. But hopefully I’ll be able to reign in the yelling, and relate this all a bit more calmly this time.
I’d seen the term ‘slow fashion’ floating around Instagram for a while, and it all seemed like a great idea, but still didn’t have much impact on my life, until my friend in Indonesia started talking to me about this film she’d watched on Netflix. It was fashion related, so I thought I’d give it a watch. And I ended up pretty traumatised at the state the industry is in.
The term ‘slow fashion’ slipped into my vocabulary through reading blogs. The idea is to defy ‘fast fashion’- the attraction of the ever-changing highstreet windows- and stop treating clothes as so disposable; there one month, and pushed out to make room for more the next.
Nowadays, practically all the highstreet brands are releasing new collections two or three weeks after the last one. This is totally effective in getting us to buy, the more collections change the more likely you’re going to keep finding thing that capture your attention, but wow that’s fast. Even when couture gave way to demand for low prices in the 1960’s, and high street brands became big, shops wouldn’t change their collections or release so many sales so frequently.
The result is enormous amounts of clothing are being produced, uneccesarily enormous amounts, since there’s already enough clothes in the world to provide everyone with a large wardrobe. Including all those who currently have only one pair of clothes- a surprising percentage of the earth.
Then the other problem is the cheaper we buy clothes, the faster we’ll throw them out, as we value them much less. I won’t even go into how many tonnes of clothes are thrown away each month…I’ll paraphrase the numbers into “a lot”.
But I think all this talk of the damaging attraction of new collections has given some people the misconception that slow fashion, and being passionate about clothes and buying them, don’t go together. So I wanted to emphasise that it’s easy to have a wardrobe that chops and changes for fun, whilst upholding slow fashion. We just need to replace the ‘bin’ attitude with keeping clothes going around. It’s why Ebay is such a good idea, not just because it gives you a few extra pounds, but it’s ethical.
In short, slow fashion is defying fast fashion (surprise surprise)- and thinking a bit more carefully about how we treat our clothes.
Hope this was helpful. Lots of love,