“Slow fashion” is the opposite of “fast fashion.” But you may be wondering what they both are. In this post, I’ll address both slow fashion and fast fashion, comparing their effect on the environment.
The fact is, fast fashion is an environmental disaster, while slow fashion is far more eco-friendly and causes less environmental damage.
At the end of the post, you’ll get 7 tips to help you get on the slow fashion bandwagon and feel good about your wardrobe choices.
What Is Slow Fashion?
Slow fashion refers to buying clothing and wardrobe accessories in a conscious way that reduces the negative effect on the environment.
It includes practices such as buying from eco-friendly companies, buying less clothing, shopping at thrift stores, swapping with friends and family, and buying local handmade items.
Companies that support slow fashion often follow ethical working guidelines and use natural eco-friendly fabrics that are a more sustainable choice.
When a person engages in slow fashion methods to build their wardrobe, they make the environmental impact a priority, which helps to reduce the amount of waste and the strain on the earth’s resources.
Next, I’ll explain what fast fashion is and you’ll clearly see how slow fashion is an ideal worth aiming for to protect our planet.
What Is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is the opposite of slow fashion. In this process, clothing is produced as fast as possible, using a massive amount of resources such as water. The manufacturers aim for the lowest possible production cost to feed the demands of the marketplace.
People who engage in fast fashion usually buy clothing and accessories as cheaply as possible in enormous quantities in a bid to always have the latest styles.
However, these practices by manufacturers and consumers place a large burden on the earth’s resources and create mountains of waste.
The cheap clothing generally doesn’t last long and often ends up in landfills. Plus, consumers who follow this path tend to buy a lot of clothing without wearing out what they already have. And, there’s often a great deal of impulse buying involved.
As you can see, fast fashion doesn’t involve much conscious thought about the consequences of doing things this way. Slow fashion is clearly a better way to go.
But, it isn’t always easy to make the switch from fast fashion to slow fashion if you’ve been doing things that way for a long time. It will take some effort and a change in mindset.
That’s why I’ve added a set of 7 slow fashion tips to get you started with your change in thinking and habits. If you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track because you care about the effect of your actions on the planet.
7 Slow Fashion Tips
Here are 7 tips to help you tune your mindset toward slowing down and making conscious decisions about your wardrobe that will help protect the environment:
1. Develop a Minimal Wardrobe
It may be a tough one to start with, but over time, you can work toward developing a minimal wardrobe.
Instead of having a dozen outfits for every occasion, create a few well-thought-out choices that cover multiple events.
But don’t throw away clothes you already have to be more minimal. Let this happen gradually as you wear out pieces you already own.
2. Buy Better Quality Clothing
If you’ve been in the habit of always buying super cheap clothing in large quantities, you may find it difficult to tackle this tip.
However, if you buy quality pieces for your wardrobe from companies that are eco-friendly, you’ll likely find they last longer, costing you and the environment less in the long run.
Fewer quality pieces of clothing and accessories also fit well with building a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
3. Do Wardrobe Repairs or Have Them Done
Along with buying quality clothing, you’ll further reduce your need to buy more if you do repairs or have them done. It will likely cost less than replacing the item.
Also, it’s worth it to source your clothing from companies that will do repairs for you if something goes wrong. It will take some research before you buy, but is worth the effort if you have time.
4. Buy Local and Handmade Items
A great way to embrace the slow fashion movement is to buy local and handmade items for your wardrobe. They are often not as expensive as you think and have good quality, so they will last longer.
Plus, if you buy handmade pieces that are made in your area, you’ll support the local economy and reduce the effects of transportation on the environment.
5. Source Clothing from Eco-Friendly Companies
Another aspect of slow fashion that you can put into practice is to source your clothing from eco-friendly companies.
Manufacturers understand that consumers are aware of the increasing threat to the environment. As a result, many are making an effort to use environmentally-friendly processes to create their products, including ethical working conditions.
Maintaining fair and ethical environments for workers is another important part of bringing the garment industry up to an acceptable standard.
However, you need to watch out for companies that engage in greenwashing, which is the practice of making a product sound more eco-friendly than it is.
6. Shop at Thrift or Vintage Stores
Another way to tone down your spending on new clothes is to shop at thrift or vintage stores. You can often find great deals on new items or rare vintage pieces.
This form of shopping isn’t for everyone, but it’s an excellent way to give clothing a new life instead of seeing it go to the landfill.
7. Do a Clothes Swap
My final tip involves not paying for clothing at all. You can achieve this by organizing a clothes swap with friends or family. Everyone benefits without buying anything.
This is also not for everyone, but it’s an excellent way to get new items without paying for them. And, you can circulate the pieces you’re tired of but are still in great shape.
So, there you have 7 tips to help you get into the habit of being a slow fashion consumer. And really, the best tip of all is to just buy less of everything. The world is drowning under our excessive spending habits.