In yesterday’s post about Eco-Fashion Week in Vancouver, I came across a term I hadn’t heard before: slow fashion.
The idea, once I learned what it is, was marvelous. And it struck me as funny; here at Earth Divas, slow fashion is what we do. I just didn’t know it was called that!
So, what is slow fashion?
Well, it helps to start with our economy.
In the past decade, we’ve been in love with fast fashion. Fast fashion can also be called “disposable fashion”. That is, it’s fashion made with cheap materials, cheap labor, and sold for cheap prices. It also doesn’t last. It’s meant to be worn and then discarded quickly.
For consumers with disposable income, this was a great fix. They got cheap clothes, and they just kept buying. And buying. And buying.
There are several ethical problems with this.
First, consuming all these resources is incredibly damaging to the environment. All this cotton, all those dyes, all that shipping to and fro across the globe…that’s a major impact on the earth.
Next, look at the people making all these garments. Most of them are working for pennies an hour in places like Cambodia, India and China. Every time we bought a “discount” garment, we were almost guaranteed that sweatshop labor had made it. And often, those sweatshops employ children.
Enter Slow Fashion
Slow fashion isn’t just a trend that’s resulted from the green movement. Slow fashion is also a mentality.
Retailers and designers who embrace slow fashion are doing just that: they’re slowing the pace of fashion, and its negative effects on people and the environment.
So, slow fashion often uses organic materials like hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton.
Slow fashion is also fair trade and handmade. This means artisans are paid a fair wage for their skills, and they work in a safe environment.
Slow fashion is also built to last. It uses high quality materials that won’t break down after a season or two. So, customers can keep using it and wearing it for years. It’s fashion built to last.
Earth Divas is Slow Fashion
Here are Earth Divas, we’re all about slow fashion (as I said, though, until yesterday I didn’t know it had a name!)
Our artisans are paid 30% more than local wage rates. We provide training that will keep them employable for the rest of their lives. And we return 100% of profits back to our artisans at the end of the year in the form of bonus checks.
Plus, every bag on we offer is handmade and built to last.
It’s my sincere hope that more retailers and designers will start to embrace the slow fashion movement. It’s good for people, and it’s good for the planet.
Filed under: Eco Fashion on July 29th, 2010