By Fredrica Syren:
When you hear the words “fast food,” what comes to mind? Probably cheap, unhealthy and, perhaps, not good for the planet. Right? Now, think about “fast fashion” compared to “slow fashion.” This concept actually makes sense. Over the years, we have come to accept the ever so quickly changing fashion trends that come with a market of inexpensive fashion knockoffs and clothes. In today’s society, we want to spend less money on more things and, unfortunately, this has a devastating effect on the planet.
There is a growing slow fashion movement, which is about knowing the process of making clothes, and knowing by whom they are made and where they are made. So, slow fashion means slowing down to make sure clothes are made with care and with less impact on the planet. Believe it or not, fast clothing trends come with mass production that uses lots of chemicals and pesticides, and creates waste. For example, water reservoirs are increasingly diminished for cotton crop irrigation, and other precious natural resources are being wasted. Sounds like factory food production, right? The slow fashion movement is steadily gaining momentum, and I believe it is here to stay, as people are getting more into eco-friendly and ethical fashion trends.
Instead of supporting the damaging effect of fast fashion, we should look for production that is local, sustainable, high quality, and … slow. Why should we look to buy locally produced clothes? Just as fast and cheap foods come from factory farms where the animals are being treated badly, fast fashion usually is manufactured overseas in sweatshops and factories with unfair working conditions in business. In 2013, for example, 2,000 people in Bangladesh were making clothes for a large western brand when the factory collapsed and more than 1,100 people were killed. So, not only does locally manufactured clothing in general assure a better work environment, but it also reduces our carbon footprint caused by fossil fuels that are used, for example, in textile and garment production, and transportation.
The slow fashion movement also looks at the importance of designing, creating and purchasing of garments for quality and longevity. It also encourages lower carbon footprints and (ideally) zero waste. Slow fashion encourages consumers to become more aware of the entire process of making clothes — from design through production through use, and through the potential to reuse which is becoming more popular as well.
Here are some great Slow Fashion Brands:
- Patagonia. They make quality clothing with organic, recycled and upcycled fibers. The company makes clothes that pack well, travel even better, last forever and feel good to wear.
- Eileen Fisher.She makes high quality working clothes for women while quietly but persistently increasing the number of organic fibers she uses. Her style is elegant, comfortable and hardworking
- Kowtow.Kowtow is a brand from New Zealand that makes certified fair trade organic clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment.
- United By Blue.For every product sold, the company will remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. They manufacture organic cotton, and the clothes and backpacks are awesome.
- Blue Canoe.They make everyday-wear organic cotton and bamboo clothing that really, really works for women.
- Alternative Apparel. A good basic shirt that is also sustainable.
- Brook There.Makes sexy and comfortable underwear that are all organic.
- Synergy. Creates lovely dressesand yoga wear that are all-organic and benefit women in Nepal.