You might of heard or even perhaps scorned "fast fashion." However, do you know exactly what Slow Fashion means and why it's important to you, me, and the generations to come?
Let's go back to fast fashion. It's a term used to describe the mass production of clothing and accessories by retail giants in order to satisfy the consumer's needs and wants of current trends they see evolving on runways.
Haute couture can take years to bring from the design table to the end consumer, with the price and quality reflecting the process and brand reputation. Fast fashion imitates these trends and quickly turns around ideas in order for the "hungry masses" to fill their closets with clothes that don't last more than one season in wear-and-tear. And no wonder. At the price point at which they are purchased, these pieces are created with minimal artisanal inspiration, with low-quality materials, and by an underpaid workforce, often in abysmal working conditions.
Slow fashion is a reaction to this unsustainable and harmful trend in the fashion world. The goal is for everyone to benefit from its creation, from the initial designers, through the natural environment, the producers, and to the final consumer. It's about a more deliberate and conscious way of acquiring things with a long-term vision. Buyers have a need, they purchase things that fulfill this void, along with a plan of maintaining and repairing the item until it is either recycled or passed on.
It's about educating yourself as a consumer to ensure that you are supporting companies and processes that reflect your morals, both environmental and social. Slow fashion consumers want to know where something was made, by whom, and the materials used. Only once these line up with their values will they consider the style, fit, and price point.
This can seem extremely limiting at first, especially when you are used to just popping over to the mall to get the bulk of your clothing shopping done. However, in recent years, there has been a boom to keep up with the needs and wants of this niche market demographic. By expecting quality from our purchases, we force companies to respond to our needs, both promoting the creation of new brands and the transformation of other more established ones.
By identifying as an eco-store, we stay true to our core mission by providing only responsibly produced products, especially when it comes to clothing. When we look for clothing brands to bring into our Dundas and Grimsby stores, we prioritize brands made of natural textiles, designed intentionally by creative teams, many of them Canadian, and produced responsibly, either by the designers or in foreign factories with accreditations proving their sustainability.
So we encourage you to make decisions that support your personal stance on the matter, whether that means buying new items made "slowly", hunting for your needs at a second-hand or consignment store, or creating them yourself.
If you were interested in some of the brands we carry in store, here's a list, along with links so that you can further educate yourself on their missions and information on how they produce their goods.
Remember that when you buy items, you are "voting with your dollar" and supporting the operations of entire networks of retailers, manufacturers, as well as individual livelihoods. Take the time to research your options, and make your purchases deliberately, with your mind and your heart engaged in the process.