In recent years we hear a lot about Slow fashion, but what does it refer to? What some are already defining the future of the entire fashion sector was born as a trend taken over by various brands in the fashion sector that are particularly sensitive to environmental sustainability issues but is now increasingly becoming the standard to aspire to.
There was talk of “slow fashion” for the first time in 2007, when sustainable design consultant Kate Fletcher used these words to define the type of clothing production and consumption based on the principles of the “slow food” movement (the opposite of fast food junk food).
So it is Slow fashion cos’è? Also in this case it is an opposite, a concept that wants to undermine the growing consumerism that also permeates the world of fashion, especially as regards objectives and values. In fact, the constantly changing disposable fashion of the last decades produces many collections that are replaced by the new ones in a short time, taking advantage of low-cost labor in countries such as China, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
For this reason, it is not a trend, but a conscious and wise approach to fashion that many brands are adopting more and more often, which also considers aspects such as environmental protection and the improvement of the working conditions of those who produce garments and accessories.
The reason has a lot to do with the ever increasing consumer empowerment, so the demand is shifting towards garments that have a history of ethics and fairness. Companies, those that can invest, are embracing these changes and are adapting accordingly (when they are not guided by a leadership strongly devoted to these issues).
Without forgetting the catastrophic numbers concerning thepollution, the waste of natural resources e the exploitation of labor (including minors): these problems are increasingly known because the sources of information are much wider than a few decades ago.
I principi dello Slow fashion
The consumer who wants to have a positive impact on the environment, respecting its natural cycles but also wants to enhance people, giving their work the right value, follows some principi di slow fashion which then also made the companies their own. First of all, the basis of Slow fashion is the self-awareness and their needs: if something is not needed, it is useless to buy it. If your body has certain characteristics, it makes no sense to force it to enter a garment that does not enhance it just for fashion.
Also there quality it is an important concept for slow food: as well as for the ingredients of food products, why not pay attention to where and how an item of clothing was produced? Buying from local producers or artisans can support realities that for generations have made quality one of the driving principles of the business.
Slow fashion has a lot to do with awareness of what is useful and what not. Impulsive shopping has nothing conscious at its base, because the purchased product is often not even worn that often. Better to take care of the clothes that are already in the closet, buying only the clothes that are really missing and needed.
The use of clothing is subject to wear, but often many garments that we take for granted are to be thrown away in reality they can still be used with the recycling or simply repairing it. Recovery is a very important concept, because it avoids waste and the reuse of garments for different needs. However, if a garment no longer fits and is no longer worn, rather than throw it away, it is better to give it a new life by selling it or giving it to those in need.
Slow fashion clothing: for the environment and people
I capi di abbigliamento Slow fashion they are made in an ethical and responsible way, both as regards the materials, the manufacturing processes and the working conditions of the professionals. They are designed to last as long as possible and not the time of a fashion season, they are worked by a labor paid in a fair way and are made with quality and eco-sustainable materials. By choosing Slow fashion you don’t just buy a dress, but you decide to buy less with higher quality having the certainty of a longer duration. Obviously this does not mean that the brands that have embraced this production approach do not pay attention to fashion trends, quite the opposite.
Sustainability, which is a common thread of all brands that choose Slow fashion as an approach, is however also linked to transparent practices in the treatment of one’s workforce, to which companies must guarantee adequate pay. To make it possible, in this case, is the fact of hiring employees who work in the immediate vicinity of the headquarters. This eliminates the need to outsource production to foreign countries where labor costs are lower and respect for workers’ human rights is also much lower.
Another problem of Fast fashion, which instead Slow fashion wants to go and solve, is that of lack of inclusiveness in the context of sizes. For this reason, many brands in the world are adopting a made-to-order production that produces clothing and accessories such as shoes by adapting to the shapes of their customers and offering, if necessary, an additional tailor-made service to satisfy every desire.
Slow fashion brands in Italy and around the world
Opportunities are emerging from the global pandemic that have been seized above all by new brands, capable of getting noticed by the world through social media and a sustainable approach applied to the entire production chain. The philosophy that distinguishes all these new entries focuses on a business “made to order“, That is, the production does not foresee waste because the pieces do not go into production until they are purchased.
A luxury brand such as the pioneer Stella McCartney had already done so, but today low cost champions such as Asos, Zara and H&M are also realizing entire collections in eco-sustainable fashion, produced with natural fibers through a protected supply chain, to minimize waste, pollution and exploitation of workers.
As anticipated, Stella McCartney launched its luxury label in 2011 with the aim of offering super fashionable garments but products without animal derivatives. The result was the shaggy deer, a Falabella It Bag fabric that looks like suede but isn’t. All the garments and accessories of its eco-sustainable fashion line are made with natural or synthetic fibers.
However, there are also Italian brands that for more than 20 years have tried their hand at creating sustainable garments, including shoes. It is the case of Philippe Model, an Italian footwear brand, which has always been a pioneer in the field of eco-sustainable fashion, which presented for spring summer 2021 Lyon, a low environmental impact sneaker that uses animal-free, recycled and bio-based materials (eco-leather in corn fibers , organic cotton and recycled polyester).
The brand today is very commercial Patagonia, specialized in outdoor technical clothing, is now becoming one of the most fashionable sustainable brands thanks to its eco-friendly down jackets with padding whose down is 100% traceable. Their realization completely moves away from the cruel practice of plucking, distances itself from it, guaranteeing the fair treatment of the animals.
Why choose an ethical and responsible Slow fashion
Buying garments made by brands that have adopted Slow fashion as an ethical and responsible approach allows the consumer to actively participate in a change that starts from small habits but can cause a gigantic improvement of the conditions of the planet. Contrary to what those who still desist from adopting this practice believe, the economy would also benefit from it, since manufacturing companies should not opt for a relocation of their plants.
After all, the numbers of damage to the earth are impressive: the fashion industry causes 20% of the global waste of water (the processing of a pair of jeans absorbs 11,000 liters of water) and causes 10% of carbon dioxide emissions. The garments are mostly made of cotton, a material for which 24% insecticides and 11% pesticides are used worldwide.
There is also the pollution linked to failure to recycle clothing which is promptly thrown away before considering the idea of a recovery. According to United Nations data, only 1% of clothing is recycled, while 85% ends up in landfills. Precisely this low-cost Fast fashion is among the factors that have caused open-air landfills in the oceans, islands of shameful waste. The best known is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, in the Pacific Ocean, whose extension is estimated to range from 700,000 km² to 10 million km².