Slow Fashion for now and the future

Fast speed in fashion is a defining characteristic of today’s textile and clothing industry where it’s possible to turn a sample or design sketch into a finished product in as little as 12 days. And it’s fast consumption, with consumers buying more than what they need.

Fast fashion has been dominating the market for more than a decade, seducing customers by cheap versions of styles that had graced the catwalks of Milan and Paris weeks previously. But awareness is spreading and with customers that barely have recovered from the credit crunch, clothes selling at disposable prices are losing their appeal! The new must-haves are ‘made to last’ or, better still, ‘made in Europe.’

The concept of Slow Fashion is linked to the Slow Food Movement. Founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, (we discovered it on holiday in Italy in 2002).
Slow fashion is about designing, producing, consuming and living better. Slow fashion is not time-based but quality-based. Slow is not the opposite of fast but rather a different approach in which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities and ecosystems.

Scandinavian children’s fashion is very much about Slow Fashion. The garments are often trans-seasonal with high quality that are made to be kept and produced in organic and fair trade materials.
The new vision is that pleasure and fashion is strongly linked with awareness and responsibility.

“Slow fashion is a glimpse of a different – and more sustainable – future for the textile and clothing sector and an opportunity for business to be done in a way that respects workers, environment and consumers in equal measure. Such a future is but a garment away.”

Kate Fletcher, eco textiles consultant and author.

Photo: Clothing and bed linen in bamboo by Lilleba

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