The fashion industry is among one of the most wasteful, unethical, and environmentally harmful industries contributing to almost 10% of global carbon emissions per year. The two most common fabrics used in clothing are polyester and cotton. Polyester is a non-renewable, petroleum-based fabric that takes centuries to decompose. While the production, dying, and finishing of cotton require lots of water and released lots of pollution. Additionally, the textile industry is infamous for its exploitative labour practices and working conditions.
Much of this trend has been exacerbated by fast fashion. A business model characterized by its trendy, mass-produced, and cheap prices with brands like Zara and H&M leading the charge.
Slow fashion is the antithesis to fast fashion. According to Goodonyou.com here are a few characteristics of slow fashion:
- Made from high quality, lower-impact materials like linen
- Garments are more timeless than trendy
- Often sold in smaller (local) stores rather than huge chain enterprises
- Locally sourced, produced, and sold garments
- Few, specific styles per collection, which are released twice or maximum three times per year, or a permanent seasonless collection
- Often made-to-order to reduce unnecessary production
A few other slow fashion tips I’ll add:
- Thrifting and buying clothes second hand when possible
- Developing a relationship with your local tailor and repairing garments when damaged. Or better yet learn how to sew.