The slow fashion movement is a holistic response to the problems created by fast fashion, a late 20th-century development in the fashion industry.
Why Fast Fashion Is Problematic
Through much of the 20th century, it was traditional for fashion brands to introduce new collections four times a year. That changed with the rise of fast fashion during the 1990s. Quickly mass-producing cheap imitations of runway looks is the hallmark of fast fashion. Before long, fast fashion brands began releasing up to 52 mini-collections a year.
Fast fashion has a reputation for poor-quality garments, questionable labor practices, using synthetic fabrics, and unsustainable production. The low price point encourages consumers to make frequent purchases of trendy apparel, which often ends up in a landfill.
How Slow Fashion Is the Solution
The slow fashion movement calls on fashion's consumers and producers to make choices that are better for people and the planet. Slow fashion producers make high-quality clothing that's frequently made of natural fabrics like wool, organic cotton, or linen. Instead of focusing on trends, these producers tend to make classic clothing their customers can wear for years. Their apparel may even be handmade.
Sustainability and transparent supply chains are important components of slow fashion. As much as possible, producers source locally and check supply chains to avoid unacceptable practices like child labor.
How Consumers Can Support Slow Fashion
The first step is skipping the big retailers who sell fast fashion goods. Consumers can seek smaller retailers and producers that adhere to slow fashion values. It's also helpful for consumers to remember it takes a tremendous amount of water and energy to manufacture one mass-produced garment. Making sustainable choices like buying vintage and second-hand clothing helps conserve those precious resources.
Angie Lewis founded Macpherson Toy House to provide beautiful yet safe and ethically produced products for her family and her community. Learn more about the philosophy behind our store.
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