Sunday, 26 January 2014


I came across the term "Slow Fashion" while searching for a particular service this last week and after investigating, I am a believer.  I think you will agree that we have all been into a department store and left disgusted that most of the items on the apparent "sale" are brought in especially for the said sale.  This means that we are being drawn into the stores on the pretence that we will be buying a quality item at a much reduced price.  Because the retailers know that's what we all want they pad the few genuine items they do put on sale up with lots of cheap items.  What I have personally discovered is that a lot of the sale items are either poor quality, poorly designed and poorly made or any combination of these flaws.

At this moment I am not in a position to buy super high end luxury items and may not ever be but I do love and admire them and I aspire to have just a few. I admire the design process and the quality that the high end designers seek to put into their brands. Of course along with the designer name comes a designer price tag because they know if its that good they can ask whatever they want and people will still want it. This is where I believe SLOW FASHION will begin making a serious comeback. People really do want quality and if given a choice really would prefer to buy it over the alternative. The gap between the designer or bespoke item and the alternatives is the price. Its like anything, we only buy what we can afford ... hopefully.

What really is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is genuinely high quality clothing and footwear, made locally and made by hand. The term bespoke is being used a lot now and it is all part of the new "slow" movement.

Open dictionary explains it like this:

"Slow Fashion - a term which describes clothing which lasts a long time and is often made from locally-sourced or fair-trade material"

Wikipedia explains it like this:

The term "Slow Fashion" was coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK). "Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum."
The Slow Fashion Movement is based on the same principles of the Slow Food Movement, as the alternative to mass-produced clothing (AKA “Fast-Fashion”). Initially, The Slow Clothing Movement was intended to reject all mass-produced clothing, referring only to clothing made by hand, but has broadened to include many interpretations and is practised in various ways.

Some examples of slow fashion practise's include:

Opposing and boycotting mass-produced fashion (AKA "Fast-Fashion" or "McFashion").

Choosing artisan products to support smaller businesses, fair trade and locally-made clothes.
Buying second hand or vintage clothing and donating unwanted garments.
Choosing clothing made with sustainable, ethically-made or recycled fabrics.
Choosing quality garments that will last longer, transcend trends (a "classic" style), and be repairable.
Doing it yourself - making, mending, customising, altering, and up-cycling your own clothing.
Slowing the rate of fashion consumption: buying fewer clothes less often.

The Slow Fashion movement is a unified representation of all the "sustainable", "eco", "green", and "ethical" fashion movements. It encourages education about the garment industry's connection and impact on the environment and depleting resources, slowing of the supply chain to reduce the number of trends and seasons, to encourage quality production, and return greater value to garments removing the image of disposability of fashion. A key phrase repeatedly heard in reference to Slow Fashion is "quality over quantity". This phrase is used to summarize the basic principles of slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer.

I am finding this movement extremely interesting as a few members of my immediate family have elected to be vegan and admirably enjoy it. This is all part of making ethical choices in our everyday life.

What I have also discovered from being part of the RTW Fast for 2014 is the thrill that people are getting from creating their own garments. From the choosing of a pattern, choosing the fabrics, choosing the embellishments, lovingly creating the garment, pressing it, wearing it and taking photos to share with others who have a mutual appreciation for the same process. I never did doubt the joy doing this brings anyone as I've experienced it many times myself. From first sewing for myself at a very young age, sewing for my children, sewing for wedding parties, sewing suits and even leather bags and accessories. Its fun and so so enjoyable seeing the item come together just how you visualise.

I like the term Slow Fashion, I think Kate Fletcher, who coined it knew exactly what direction the fashion industry was going. Sadly along with a new movement comes a lot of corollary disappointment as businesses close unable to compete in the new environment. I have to say that I'm not saddened to see the rag shops close but I am saddened to see designers closing unable to compete with such inferior offerings.

This week I put together my body double. My dressmakers dummy is finally sized and ready to go as I await my pattern, still. I haven't minded the slow progress at this time as its given me a chance to take stock and get a few other important jobs done which would not have allowed me much sewing time anyway, but I'm so looking forward to getting started and sharing my progress along the way.  I am overjoyed to be part of the Slow Fashion movement and I hope I've shared something interesting also.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please post a comment.