Climate Change or Global Warming are terms which have become inescapable concepts in today’s society.
Over the past few decades, general awareness has increased drastically; most of us are beginning to recognise the detrimental effect our way of living has upon our environment.
From electric vehicles, to energy-saving light bulbs, we’ve realised the damage our consumerism contributes and began creating & purchasing sustainable products in order to reduce our carbon emissions.
While mass production & consumption is at the root of our environmental issues, when we think of our impact on the planet it’s usually deforestation, the burning of fossil fuels and emitting of greenhouse gases that spring to mind.
You may be surprised to learn that the Fashion industry actually accounts for more carbon emissions than Flying & Shipping combined; 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply!
Furthermore – how textiles are disposed, how long we keep them for, and the polyester fibres released into oceans when we wash our clothes – are rarely considered.
Slow vs Fast Fashion
“Slow fashion is a conscious effort to move away from the excessive consumerism encouraged by the fast fashion industry through changing consumer behavior and forcing the industry to embrace sustainability and to produce high-quality fashion.
Unlike fast fashion, the primary focus of slow fashion is a continued commitment to creating fewer collections per calendar year with pieces made from high-quality materials that lengthen the life of the garment.
Slow fashion is founded on the principles of conscious consumerism, environmental sustainability, and transparency, with design and production methods upholding high ethical standards.”
The harmful effects of excessive production in the Fashion industry has become more prevalent in mainstream media – Stacey Dooley released a BBC documentary exposing the environmental issues of Fast Fashion.
So, what is a Slow Fashion Brand?
- Made from high quality, sustainable materials
- Often in smaller (local) stores rather than huge chain enterprises
- Locally sourced, produced and sold garments
- Few, specific styles per collection, which are released twice or maximum three times per year
Ethical vs Eco vs Lasting Fashion
Slow Fashion can be separated into 3 principles:
- Ethical Fashion concerns human and animal rights.
- Eco Fashion concerns the impact of clothing production on the environment.
- Lasting Fashion concerns the garment itself and slowing down the clothing consumption rate.
Who is taking action aside from Brands?
There are organisations spearheading the overall agenda of making the Fashion industry more sustainable.
Take a look at the British Fashion Council’s paper on Fashion & Environment
Some of the biggest clothing brands such as ASOS, H&M, Kering & Nike have also begun taking an initiative by becoming Strategic Partners of the Global Fashion Agenda – committed to prioritising sustainability within the industry.
You can find out more about the Fashion industry’s effect on the environment and how Slow Fashion can prevent the damage caused on our Made Well page.