What is Slow Fashion?


As Human beings, we are primarily consumers.


This fact, however, does not exempt us from making informed choices of what we consume and how much we consume. This is where the slow movement comes into the picture- it does not propagate anti-consumption, rather it encourages alternative consumption done more consciously. Conscious consumption is what defines this movement.


In line with this definition, let’s dive into what is slow fashion- it is not just the opposite of fast fashion, slow fashion is about consuming and creating fashion consciously. Slow fashion is intentionally done with integrity and responsibility. Slow fashion is made with great awareness of the social and environmental impact that it creates. Slow fashion is rewarding to the wearer with lasting love of well-made clothes, in high contrast to the immediate gratification that fast fashion offers.


Before the industrial revolution took place, fashion at the time was more custom made and less ready made. They were locally made and locally sold. The consumption was low as people would buy clothes only for occasions- wear them over long periods of time, mend the tears, patch on the holes and then pass them down to the next wearer. The clothes were made with whatever material locally available and heavily integrated the culture of the location. Back then, the art of clothes making was cherished and the skills needed to make clothing was recognised with appreciation.


Now clothes are mass-produced and shipped with heavy carbon trails across the continent on constant back and forth trips. In these times, bringing back the old ways of treating clothing better is campaigned by the Slow fashion movement. Slow fashion is considerate of the holistic lifecycle of the product. Across all stages of its production- from design, sourcing of raw materials, the base materials themselves, the manufacturing, the supply chain involved, shipping to consumer and ultimately its end-of-life stage. Slow fashion is conscious. Slow Fashion is mindful. 


Now, often the term slow fashion is used interchangeably with Ethical fashion and Sustainable fashion but it is more of an intersection of them all. Ethical fashion is more concerned about animal welfare and human rights- the social sector. Sustainable fashion talks more about the environment, about organic, natural choices of raw materials and reducing carbon footprint and overall negative impacts of the fashion industry. Slow fashion includes all these factors but mostly highlights the importance of better quality.

A few principles that slow fashion promotes are:

  • Quality over Quantity

  • Durability over Discarding often

  • Repair old over Replace with new

  • Green methods over Greenwashing

  • Clean production over Corrupt methods

  • Fair condition for workers over False claims

As conscious consumers it becomes our responsibility to spend on items that resonate with our values, to support brands doing their best in whatever scale possible and to bring long term change in the ways of fashion. 

Be sure to check out our blog on greenwashing and fast fashion to know what slow fashion advises against and reach out to us if you’d like to know more.