Have you ever searched for #slowfashion on Instagram? It currently yields over 5 million results. There’s no doubt the slow, sustainable, and ethical fashion movement has quickly gained global traction and popularity in recent years. And it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon.
But what exactly do these fairly new fashion phrases mean? Why are so many sustainable brands so expensive? Is it possible to be sustainable and plus sized? And how can we pump the breaks, stop shopping for sport, and put some of these slow fashion concepts into practice?
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What is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is the act of slowing down the pace of shopping. A slow fashion lifestyle focuses on quality over quantity, mindful shopping, and clothing that’s built to last.
What about sustainable, ethical, and all those other terms?
Fair Trade Certified products are made in factories that have been certified for paying a fair wage and provide comfortable and safe working conditions for all of the employees.
Along the same lines, Ethical fashion has to do with whether the people who make the clothes are paid well and work in safe conditions.
Sustainable or Eco-friendly fashion is often referring to the environmental impact of the product. These are items are that are often made with organic or recycled materials. Items that reduce manufacturing waste, are free of harmful dyes or chemicals.
Why does it cost more to buy sustainable clothing?
Sustainable and ethically made clothing are typically made from recycled materials through a low or no-waste, ethical production process. In sum, you’re paying for high-quality garments that fairly supported the person who made them.
4 ways to start your fast fashion diet
Follow the “buyerarchy of needs“
Use what you own, borrow, swap, thrift, make, buy.
Keep a wish list.
Be open to doing some research about ethical and sustainable brands. The thing about fast fashion, just like fast food, is that it’s convenient and requires very minimal effort on the part of the consumer. Slow fashion requires a little extra investment of your time. Do a little research, and create a running wish list of brands and items. Instagram is a great resource for slow fashion inspiration.
Stop shopping with your feelings.
Ask yourself a series of questions before and after you buy something. How am I going to wear this? Can I wear it at least 30 times? Am I attaching my happiness, self worth and success to this item?
Create a realistic budget.
If you do have to buy new (as in you can’t swap it or thrift it) set a budget for sustainable, ethical, or independent brands. This will force you to be very selective about what you buy and how well you take care of your stuff.
Focus on progress not perfection.
Be gentle and kind to yourself. Don’t go from zero to sixty with this change. It’s a lifestyle change that won’t happen overnight. Don’t go home and donate or give away any fast fashion brand you own. Wear them! That’s the most sustainable and slow thing you can do. Keep your stuff alive as long as possible. It’s all about making more conscious decisions. Buying 9 fast fashion brands a year compared to 10 is progress.
What should I look for when buying ethical brands?
Made from recycled materials
Fair labor standards
Fair Trade products
Gives back to the community
Ethical production process
Supply chain transparency
Allow us to Rethriftrodeuce Ourselves is a podcast about secondhand shopping hosted by two treasure-hunting friends, Dina & Shannon. Subscribe today. For more about the podcast visit dinasdays.com/podcast.
The music sampled in the podcast, Who Shot John and Audible Distraction, are written and performed by Dan Wilson.