The term ‘Slow Fashion’ was coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK). "Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print,” she said. “But a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum."
Most of today’s mainstream fashion industry is built on mass production, where clothing is made from fast, cheap materials and are delivered to the retailers within only a matter of weeks. ‘Fast Fashion’ often comes with a hidden price tag affecting not only the environment, but producers and workers in the supply chain.
The Fast Fashion industry is contributing drastically to the depletion of fossil fuel used in textile and garment production. Fresh water reservoirs are also being increasingly diminished for cotton crop irrigation.
‘Slow Fashion’, on the other hand, “represents all things ‘eco’, ‘ethical’ and ‘green’ in one unified movement.”
The ‘Slow Fashion Values’ are as follows:
1. Seeing the big picture: Slow Fashion producers recognise that they are all interconnected to the larger environmental and social system and make decisions accordingly. Slow Fashion encourages a systems thinking approach because it recognises that the impacts of our collective choices can affect the environment and people.
2. Slowing down consumption: Reducing raw materials by decreasing fashion production can allow the earth’s regenerative capabilities to take place. This will alleviate pressure on natural cycles so fashion production can be in a healthy rhythm with what the earth can provide.
3. Diversity: Slow Fashion producers strive to maintain ecological, social and cultural diversity. Biodiversity is important because it offers solutions to climate change and environmental degredation. Diverse and innovative business models are encouraged; independent designers, larger fashion houses, second-hand, vintage, recycled, fashion leasing, your local knitting club and clothing swaps are all recognised in the movement. Keeping traditional methods of garment & textile making and dyeing techniques alive also gives vibrancy and meaning to what we wear and how it was made.
4. Respecting People: Participating in campaigns and codes of conduct can help to secure the fair treatment of workers. Some brands have joined the Asian Floor Wage Alliance, Ethical Trading Initiative, and the Fair Wear Foundation, among others. Labels are also supporting local communities by offering skill development and helping them to trade, such as Toms Shoes and Banuq.
5. Acknowledging human needs: Designers can meet human needs by co-creating garments and offering fashion with emotional significance. By telling the story behind a garment or inviting the customer to be part of the design process, the needs of creativity, identity and participation can be satisfied.
6. Building relationships: Collaboration and co-creation ensures trusting and lasting relationships that will create a stronger movement. Building relationships between producers and co- producers is a key part of the movement.
7. Resourcefulness: Slow Fashion brands focus on using local materials and resources when possible and try to support the development of local businesses and skills.
8. Maintaining quality and beauty: Encouraging classic design over passing trends will contribute to the longevity of garments. A number of Slow Fashion designers are ensuring the longevity of their clothing by sourcing high quality fabrics, offering traditional cuts and creating beautiful, timeless pieces.
9. Profitability: Slow Fashion producers need to sustain profits, and increase their visibility in the market to be competitive. Prices are often higher because they incorporate sustainable resources and fair wages.
10. Practicing Consciousness: This means making decisions based on personal passions, an awareness of the connection to others and the environment, and the willingness to act responsibly. Within the Slow Fashion movement, many people love what they do, and aspire to make a difference in the world in a creative and innovative way.
(More information can be found at http://slowfashionforward.org/slowfashionvalues)
WALL London is proud to be apart of the ‘Slow Fashion’ movement. Our philosophy has never changed and is one we still fiercely stand by today: we use high-quality fabrics supplied by ethical producers who ensure the fair treatment of their workers. By mixing these fabrics with on-trend silhouettes, WALL can establish longevity to our clothing.
For example, our Pima cotton pieces, which will last for years to come, are handpicked – not only to guarantee the best, longest staple of cotton – but to avoid the need to use machines which harm the environment.
To shop our entire AW13 collection click here.