My last article was shedding light on what Fast Fashion is, and what its effects on us and the environment are.
Today, the support of Slow Fashion is on the rise; however, this is only the beginning of a long journey ahead of us.
This is why I am thrilled to know about how some of the Fast Fashion retailers are aiming to produce under ethical standards, which support the betterment and care for the environment.
More brands are slowly starting to refuse the concept of Fast Fashion. Instead, they are aiming to find more sustainable ways to create their new trends since light has been shed on how the Fashion industry impacts the planet, animals, and people.
The fast fashion industry has created a social justice crisis. Many people are exploited just for the “trends” you get from Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, etc. These retailers have their factories in third world countries, often taking advantage of the less than desirable living conditions of the people.
Many of these factories’ workers toil for little pay and have few rights, all for the sake of manufacturers in Europe and the US keeping the costs low.
Most of the workers in these factories are women. These women are consciously turning a blind eye on the harsh working conditions they are put under, because of poverty.
The Opposite of Fast Fashion is Slow Fashion.
Let’s put it this way!
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE = SLOW FASHION
The slow fashion approach has inspired many changes to the Fashion industry in recent years, not only in the production of clothing but also in consumer behavior.
But What Defines Slow Fashion?
Slow Fashion loosely defined as a more conscious approach to fashion, considering the process of how the clothing was made and what were the resources used for it. It means focusing on quality instead of quantity, something that will last long and values the fair treatment of the planet, animals, and people.
When buying consciously, you can’t simply go “Is this a slow fashion brand” because that doesn’t really make as much sense as “Is this ethically made? Is it sustainable?”
How To Know If An Item Is Ethically Made?
In comes the term “Ethical Fashion” which refers to clothing that has been produced in an environment that is conscious and treats their workers fairly; making sure they have access to a living wage, have good working conditions and reasonable hours, are given proper human rights (child labor, gender equality, the right to unionize), and an environment that values their health and safety.
It’s crazy simple; as consumers, we don’t really stop and think about what kind of living conditions the people who make our clothes are in. When we’re at work, we expect to be treated with certain respect and dignity; unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to the Fast Fashion textile workers. Our addiction to consumption is so strong that it is overshadowing our human instinct of being compassionate.
How can Fashion Be Sustainable?
Sustainable fashion is basically about producing apparel items, integrating environmentally and socioeconomically friendly ethics; thus, creating a more sustainable pattern of use and consumption.
Before buying, it is always a good act to research the brand of interest in order to ensure it follows ethics supporting sustainability and encouraging the preservation and conservation of the environment.
Cotton growing requires high levels of water and pesticides to prevent crop failure, which can be problematic in developing countries that may lack sufficient investment and be at risk of drought.
In the intent of remedying the latter, many toxic chemicals are used; these chemicals have a huge effect on people’s health and overall environment healthiness.
On the other hand, we have polyester; which is the most common fabric used for Fast Fashion.
When checking the fabrics used to make most of the clothes, it’s usually 80% polyester. Polyester is low in cost; however, it makes up for that by having a huge cost on our environment.
When polyester is washed in the washing machine, it sheds microfibers which dramatically increase the amount of plastic that is dumped into the ocean.
These polyester microfibers take approximately 200 years to decompose.
Moreover, around 84% of textile waste ends up in landfills each year, which could easily be recycled or repurposed.
To really support the Slow Fashion Movement, we need to actively take part in the movement of people looking beyond the “appeal” of the inexpensive.
We can increase and maintain awareness of what a brand is really representing by focusing on quality instead of quantity and simplify our wardrobes.
As the saying goes, less is more.
Share this article with your friends to increase their awareness about how to be fashionable in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.