Slow fashion: a trend or a choice?

Slow fashion: a trend or a choice?

Sustainable fashion: well begun is half done… starting from the environment

We said ciao to 2023 with many good intentions and a list of 5 resolutions to deal with the new year. (here) Some new habits are easy to keep with, while others are more challenging and demand attention and steadiness. Some chose not to change 2022’s routine, while others have bet on a more demanding 2023 with positive impacts on life and environment. Ambitious? Maybe. Realistic? Of Course! We are talking about sustainability, a word that we now use in many different contexts. But, do we really know what sustainable fashion actually means?

At the heart of green fashion. When was sustainable fashion born?

In the Nineties some people began to talk about green and sustainable fashion, and it became a new important trend for the most famous designers all over the world. They began to test new sustainable fabrics, with more attention to the concept of creative recycling.In Italy it was Giorgio Armani who for the first time used organic fabrics for his clothes, while in Paris the designer Lamine Kouyaté recycled some old fabrics for his creations. In the following years sustainable fashion became the focus of an important change all over the world since fashion brands were recognisable not only for their style, but mostly with their values. There are even some brands born as sustainable brands, and that have embraced the sustainability challenge. Aesthetics cannot ignore ethics anymore.

Slow Down! Slow and steady wins the race… in style!

Slow fashion is defined as: “Expression coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 by applying to the fashion system the values of Carlo Pertini slow food movement, in order to defend the good practices born in opposition to industrial production. It can also be read in opposition to the concept of fast fashion, that productive and cultural system born after the prêt-à-porter crisis and the fashion globalization. (...) In short, it is meant to celebrate personal style (both of creators and consumers) and it encourages the information about productive processes, by promoting a more conscious consumption.

We could say it is not only about the contraposition between slow fashion and fast fashion, but it is also about a more conscious way to approach fashion.

It is not only sustainable fashion. There is much more: a new way of life, where aesthetics and ethics go hand in hand. To be more responsible, to gather information and to be part of a new system where human beings are part of something bigger and more important. When fashion is not sustainable? Who pays the price of an illusory economic benefit? We must ask ourselves these important questions and understand that it is all about environmental and social impact. An extremely low price is the direct result of a low salary, poor materials and a supply chain that does not respect rules and regulations. According to recent studies, about 60 millions workers of the textile industry (85% of which are women) are exploited and work in terrible conditions. The monthly pay is also low and there are millions of children involved in the production.(Source vesti la natura).

But there is still hope! Luckily there are many groups and organizations born to protect the fashion system and the consumers. One for all, Fashion Revolution, a no-profit global movement that wants to change not only the fashion system but also the entire world by educating people to a more conscious consumption.

The transparency we like, for both fabrics and information

Textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, right after the oil one. This is due to many factors: resource consumption, groundwater pollution, gas emissions, animal exploitation and loss of biodiversity. In addition to these environmental reasons, there are also factors that involve world population.

How to spot fast fashion? Take a look at labels and learn more about sustainability certifications: that’s the first step to recognize a sustainable clothing brand. Even if sometimes all those symbols seem hard to understand, they are fundamental to learn more about garments and their history.

Slow doesn’t mean Low

Rules seem to be a lot, but creativity always finds a way with workarounds in order to not renounce to Fashion. There are many projects born in the last years supporting all those fashion lovers who want to embrace the fashion system in a more sustainable way. Starting from technological innovations, such as recycling and reselling apps, to the several brands that are committed to reduce environmental and social impacts. Vesti La Natura, an association that supports ethical and sustainable fashion, drew up a list of 10 Made in Italy brands that are completely sustainable. Various new proposals also come from trade shows and exhibitions. At the last Pitti Uomo, for example, there were many eco-friendly brands that have catched the eye of many journalists and buyers.

So, being sustainable does not mean having a boring or expensive wardrobe. It is all about optimization of the garments we own, inspiration and awareness about how clothes are actually made.

5 rules for a more sustainable wardrobe

We have talked about sustainable fashion and brands, in order to understand when fashion is really sustainable. But how can we turn our closet into a sustainability temple? There’s no need to throw away everything or sell our clothes. We can just follow 5 simple rules that will help us to reduce our social and environmental impact.

  • Read the labels: they are there for a reason and they can be considered the ID of our clothes.It’s like reading the calories count of our meals!
  • Bet on lasting garments. Is it better to have four items that will deteriorate soon or one only item that will last longer? We’ll avoid the so-called pilling effect, we’ll save money and also the environment will benefit.
  • Try to buy less items in the fast fashion stores. They say absence sharps the appetite: so why can’t we wait a little longer for a new collection? Fast fashion has about 51 collections per year, and this completely erases the sense of anticipation that fashion (as an art) can give.
  • Create your own capsule wardrobe: it is a good way to organize our routine. Pick a few items, mix and match them in order to create a versatile and unique wardrobe.
  • Slow down, even during your shopping sessions. Sometimes we feel like Rebecca Bloomwood in the movie “I Love Shopping”, but sometimes the urge to buy something is transitory: we buy something that seems indispensable, only to find out that there is something even more beautiful and useful. How to exit this loop? We must be aware of what we really need and what we already have, in order to make a more conscious purchase that will help us save money.

So, the keyword for this 2023 dedicated to Slow Fashion is change. “Change has become a constant, managing it has become an expanding discipline” said Queen Elizabeth II. So, it is our turn to embrace the change and say bye to a speed that has no fascination, and CIAO to a slowness we can get noticed with.

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