Slow Fashion

Only recently have I become aware of the detrimental affects our current fast fashion processes have on the planet. Whilst the planet is under copious amounts of pressure trying to manage the continuing hurt as a result of the fashion industry today, counter-acts of ‘slow fashion’ are still under the radar. A lot of brands are doing brilliant work to reverse the effects of fast fashion on the planet. Slow fashion is on the rise and more and more people are starting to listen to what exactly that means, and find the brands that support it!

Fast Fashion

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Fast fashion is the fashion process that produces clothing and textiles quickly and cheaply, keeping up with current & fast-paced trends, resulting in detrimental impacts on the planet, animals and people.

People are buying 60% more clothes than they were 20 years ago, but only wearing them for half as long.

*business insider

Just some of the issues with fast fashion include:

  • Copious amounts of water – the fast fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water worldwide. It takes around 200 gallons of water to make a cotton T-Shirt, and 700 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans.
  • Environmentally unfriendly materials & harm to animals – clothes in the fast fashion industry are often made using synthetic fibres, which when washed add to the 500,000 tons of microfibres released into the ocean each year. Microfibres are miniscule beads of plastic that slip through our water-streams and pollute our natural sources of water and oceans. The plastic and synthetic dyes that pollute these waters harm our wildlife that live in these waters, not to mention the wildlife slaughtered every year for their fur and their skin for leather.
  • Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions worldwide.
  • Labour workers are underpaid and overworked to compensate for the cheap produce.

The fashion industry is a huge issue for our planet and humanity. However, there are a lot of brands that are making a big difference and giving us beautiful environmentally friendly options. The movement is called Slow Fashion.

What is Slow Fashion?

Slow Fashion is an awareness and approach to fashion, which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability. It involves buying better-quality garments that will last for longer and values fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.
Photo by Alex Kremer

Whereas fast fashion aims to produce clothes quickly and cheaply, impacting humanity and the earth with poor labour conditions and under-paid & over-worked workers, slow fashion uses organic produce and often recycled materials, the products are made at a slower rate (slow fashion) to ensure the quality of the product is long lasting, and can coexist with our natural world, whilst also supporting fair treatment of workers involved in the process. For a lot of sustainable brands, you can find on their website sections such as, ‘Where did my clothes come from?’ and the authentic story behind their products explaining their practises and journey.

(In the production of eco-friendly products, the garments are often priced higher than the cheap fast fashion alternative. This is the slow fashion concept: products are made slowly using ethical practises and last longer. Instead of buying the same £30 dress 3 times, you can buy one dress for £90 and keep it for years.)

It is this transparency that allows us to trust in the fashion industry again, knowing that there are ways for us to have style and love for the planet. What we wear has now become a statement in more ways than one.

Here are some brands I’ve discovered in the beginning of my slow-fashion journey:

People Tree

Referring to themselves as pioneers in sustainable fashion, having started in 1991, their core mission is for “every product made to the highest ethical environmental standards from start to finish.” They were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label, amongst plenty of other awards, and they also ensure in all their practises that they promote fair trade and environmental best practise amongst other positive processes for the planet and humanity.

Beaumont Organic

Beaumont Organic is all about sustainable fashion for the “modern woman.” Their About page includes information on how they produce their materials, and their mission for SS20 is to bring customers full traceability to the entirety of every product… “from the farm where materials are grown, to the factory that cut and stitched the garment.”


Initially beginning in Sydney, Australia, they moved over to the UK in 2002 and they have since created a brilliant, transparent and ethical brand in both trading as well as resourcing.

“Everything we create embraces the concept of slow fashion. Our clothes our made with the greatest consideration for people and the planet. They’re designed to last and be worn time after time.”

Stay Wild Swim

Thought have a wonderful blog, and on the blog I found the company Stay Wild Swim promoted, run by Natalie Glaze, an eco-influencer and ocean activist. This brand’s mission is to be part of the solution in tackling ocean plastic pollution, using recycled materials such as regenerated nylon that comes from fishing nets left in the ocean, and scraps from the fashion industry. They are all about “buy less, but buy better” with swimwear made to last for years, not just the season.

Rêve En Vert

Rêve En Vert is a luxury brand for sustainable living, consisting of active wear, every day wear, swim wear and nightwear, as well as home, lifestyle and accessories. They believe in ethical, social and economic practises that include the ethos of protecting our oceans, zero waste, fair and transparent working conditions, individual empowerment, slow and considered fashion, second life materials (re/up-cycled), less is more and charitable giving… amongst others!

Zola Amour

Founded by Emily Evans in 2016, who had previously worked in the fashion industry and seen the devastation created by the fast fashion industry. Working alongside her mum, they make the clothes to order with total transparency within the whole process of their products and materials.

Slo Active

Slo Active is a swimwear brand, inspired by slow fashion and staying in the present moment. It encompasses activism for the ocean with the Earth to Ocean model which gives back to the ocean and helps to de-pollute it, working with charities cleaning the sea and beaches, as well as using ethical, renewable materials via their ‘Circular Fashion’ model.

Sources of research:

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