Revealed: 10 slow fashion values

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The stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap ethos of fast fashion is damaging the planet, according to experts. But there is another way – ‘slow fashion’ is a resistance movement that’s focused on bringing fashion back to its roots. Here’s a list of values that slow fashion stands by:

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 degradation. 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 ensure 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. Practising 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.

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Photo Credit: Local Wisdom

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  • Raye Padit

    Slow Fashion promotes creativity, when you have limited options in your closet you become limitless with styling yourself- mix and match and be adventurous. Plus it gives better connection and getting to know what your clothes can, you will be surprise. 🙂

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  • Siamese Dream Design

    This is so wonderful to read. We are a very small brand and were feeling lost in a sea of our ethics. You have given me encouragement as this is exactly who we are and I had never realized that the term “slow fashion” actually encompassed all of these values. It still remains a challenge to showcase these to the consumer. We just had one of our little girls dresses featured in a magazine. They called it a “print dress”. It is authentic naturally dyed hand woven ikat from Java. My heart sank when I saw that.