What is slow fashion? Slowing down the fashion industry

Lately, everyone has been talking about slow fashion but what is it concretely? Is it a new trend or more a massive awareness?

Nowadays, we live in a world where buying a dress or a pair of shoes is like buying bread. We can even buy a dress for an event that we will wear once. It’s super easy and cheap to buy new clothes regularly and having the closet of Carrie Bradshaw. Most of us are going to H&M or Zara every week to buy new clothes and follow the trend. Unless you prefer online shopping where it’s even easier to get new clothes and make it delivered at home.

The problem is that we actually don’t really need all these clothes. We don’t need that dress in every color, we don’t need these sandals with spikes, with round toe, pointed toe, in black, in nude… Unfortunately, sometimes we are so obsessed to have the new trend available that we forgot the sense of usefulness. And we end up with clothes we have almost never worn and we don’t like anymore.

What is really sad is that we are not always conscious of what is hidden behind the fast fashion industry. Serious social and environmental issues are to take into consideration.

” The clothing industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and one of the largest employers of slave and child labor”

This is why a few months ago I totally stopped this consumption model and I started to buy slow fashion and ethical clothes. I rethought all my bad habits and started a more healthy consumption mode. If you see me on different photos, and different places with the same dress, this is totally normal! This is a choice and I love it. Today I feel really happy and proud of this decision, this is why I wanted to share this post with you. If you also want to become more aware of your impact on the planet, the animals and human rights, I’m sure this can inspire you and help you to rethink your consumption habits! Let’s start!

What is slow fashion? sustainable and ethical fashion?

Sustainable fashion

It is often concerned with the environmental impact. This means opting for fibers and materials that are organic, recycled, limiting chemicals/dyes and reducing water, energy usage, and waste and choosing low-impact options.

Ethical fashion

It is often concerned with human and animal rights. It applies for working conditions, fair wages, and no child labor.

Slow fashion

It is mainly about buying consciously and slowing down the pace of shopping. This means buying more quality clothes and not quality. This means not having the exact same shirt on all the colors but buying one of them in more quality material. But also buying more timeless products and not trendy. It also cares about the environment, and human labor. Slow fashion is a mix of ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, and lasting fashion.

What is slow fashion?

Why starting to buy slow fashion?

Environmental impact

Among the 2019 ethical fashion report, the environmental impact of the fashion industry is significant with the apparel industry accounting for 10% of global emissions. Also, up to 20,000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of cotton and up to 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single T-shirt. Globally, humans are consuming 800 billion new pieces of clothing per year, 400% more than we consumed two decades ago.

Human rights

Also, just 5% of companies could demonstrate that they were paying a living wage to all workers at their final stage of production. Most of the workers are women or children living in Asia, often in India or Bangladesh, and are working a crazy number of hours per day for a ridiculously low income. This is modern slavery.

” Fast fashion is not free, someone, somewhere is paying”. Lucy Siegle.

Toxic clothing

A study from Greenpeace has identified 11 chemicals often used in the production of clothes. They contain toxins, carcinogens, and hormone disruptors which should be banned, but are not. 63% of items tested from major brands contain hazardous chemicals.

What we can do, is always wash your clothes before wearing them for the first time.

You can also read our post about how to reduce our impact on the environment in our daily life?

What is slow fashion? Why we need to slow down the fashion industry?

How to start a slow fashion lifestyle?

Buy less

We should only buy something when we need it. Not because we want to have a dress in every color or because it’s not exactly the same one! We should consume consciously and think twice before buying something new. When you are at a store, askyourself “do I really need it?”.

We tend to think that buying new clothes will make us happy, but it’s not the case! Maybe we should reconsider some foundations of our lifestyle. 

Buy more quality clothes

It’s better to buy quality clothes that you will wear longer than fast fashion that will not last. I know that clothes have become so cheap that we don’t care about the quality anymore and it’s easier to buy new clothes when they have lost their shape or appeal.

And this has nothing to do with the prices. We all had already the experience to buy expensive clothes and be very disappointed by the quality and have holes in our pullovers after 2 months.

The goal is to buy quality products and push brands to improve the quality of their garments. But it will also help us to keep our clothes longer. This is better for the planet and our wallet will also thank us 😉

Buy clothes from sustainable brands

More and more fashion brands are taking into consideration their environmental and social impact and are trying to produce sustainable products. Yes the offer is still limited and often expensive, but the more we buy sustainable clothes, the more brands will expend their offer.

However, sustainable brands will not always necessarily cost more than brand-name clothing, for which we sometimes pay high prices for the image, but not for the quality or the sustainability.

Buy timeless, not trendy!

You should also consider buying timeless clothes that you will also love in one year! This won’t means buying black and white clothes but buying clothes that reflect your personality, not the trend! And buying that mustard, leopard or neon pink dress that you’ve seen somewhere and that you won’t like anymore in 2 weeks!

Borrow if it is only for once

If you already know that you will wear that dress once, borrow it! It can be for a wedding, a birthday, a party or any special event. It has always happened to us to buy a dress and a pair of shoes especially for an event but we don’t have necessarily the occasion to rewear it. So, the best thing to do is to borrow it from a friend or rent it!

Clothes rentals is also a growing industry. This is a great option to not buy something and wear it once!

Repair your clothes

If it is possible to repair your clothes instead of buying a new one, do it! This is way better for the environment and you will save money!

Don’t throw your clothes

Clothes should never be thrown. You can always find a way to give them a second life. Try to sell them, there are amazing platforms nowadays to sell easily our clothes online. You just have to take a photo and set a price. Or if you can’t, donate them to your family, friends or a charity.

Buy second hand

Instead of buying new clothing, have a look at alternative options:

Second hand shop: It’s not a new concept! You can find second-hand shops everywhere in the world. Many websites offer all kinds of second-hand options, from the cheapest to brand-name clothes.

Swap clothes: These types of initiatives are also growing throughout the world. Participants bring clothes that are no longer wear and exchange them for clothes they will use. This is a very economic and eco-friendly way to refill your wardrobe. You can also organize it with your friends. 

Are you thinking about going into a slow fashion lifestyle?

I hope this post will be helpful for you and that it will help you to make the transition to a slow fashion lifestyle! Personally I’m really happy about this lifestyle I’ve adopted a few months ago. I feel more conscious about my consumption and more respectful to the planet, the animals and human rights. You can also read our post about how to become a responsible traveler?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I would love to talk with you! 😉 and don’t forget to follow our adventures on Instagram @chiarabarrasso @jelafaille


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