Despite calls for sustainability in the industry in the late 1980s, fast fashion still became prevalent. This product-driven model drove brands to mass manufacture apparel without much thought on their social and environmental impact. But, as people saw the negative effects of these practices, their clamour for sustainable fashion became louder. A little over a decade ago, the slow fashion movement began to counter fast fashion.
In the past few years, slow fashion has gained more momentum with more people being aware of the plight of communities and our planet. More ethical and sustainable choices are benefiting the fashion industry, the consumers, and the entire planet.
If you are still not in on the slow fashion movement, read on to learn more about its benefits. Understanding these can motivate you to become more intentional with your fashion choices.
"wear clothes that matter"
- Solitaire Townsend
5 Must-Know Benefits of Slow Fashion
1. Cleaner, healthier planet
According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, 20% of industrial water pollution, and 35% of microplastics in the ocean. And, that’s not even half of the negative impact fast fashion has on our planet.
With slow fashion, we’re able to reduce waste and pollution for a cleaner and healthier environment. Materials used to manufacture clothing are sustainable sourced and mostly nature derived. Manufacturing methods also avoid the use of toxic chemicals, synthetic fabrics, and non-biodegradable materials.
2. Thriving local business landscape
Fast fashion brands are usually part of huge chain enterprises with mega factories that mass produce clothing products. In contrast, slow fashion brands are typically family-run businesses that cater to their own community. They are often established by entrepreneurs who believe in the sustainable fashion movement.
As you make the shift to the slow fashion lifestyle, you support these small businesses and help your community prosper.
3. Fair labour practices
Over the years, we’ve heard of countless news about unfair labour practices in the world of fashion. Factory workers are often underpaid and overworked, spending more than 12 hours in unsafe working conditions.
With slow fashion’s emphasis on ethical sources, it helps alleviate the welfare of workers. From the sourcing of raw materials to the delivery of finished goods, all workers are treated fairly. When you support slow fashion, you also help ensure fair wage rates and safe work environments for employees in the industry.
4. More support for animal welfare
Animal cruelty is rife in the fashion industry. Animals are killed for their hide, skin, and fur to make various clothing products and fashion accessories.
Slow fashion seeks to support animal welfare. It advocates cruelty-free clothing and avoids the use of toxic chemicals that may harm animals and their habitats. In this way, slow fashion protects animals both directly and indirectly.
5. Reduced costs for clothing
Mass-produced items tend to be cheaper, but they’re often made with low-quality materials and substandard workmanship. In the long run, you end up spending more to replace worn-out clothing. Worst of all, the low-quality clothes you dispose of end up in landfills.
While slow fashion items are pricier at the onset, they last for many years. Slow fashion focuses on durability to decrease the production and consumption of goods. So, only the highest quality materials are used. With a small but timeless wardrobe of resilient clothing, you save more than you realize.