To understand what slow fashion really is, we first have to begin at the root with the Slow Movement. As mentioned in a previous blog post, this began in Italy in the 1980s, reacting against the fast-food culture. From there, it became international opposing the ‘fast’ lifestyle encouraged by industrialisation and technological development.
This movement branched into different categories to include slow travel, slow cities and slow fashion. It has become a lifestyle choice, one that doesn’t overwhelm you.
It opposes the idea of racing against the clock, of not having enough time and of living a superficial and meaningless life.
Photo by Andrey Grushnikov from Pexels
So, What’s ‘Fast’ About Today’s Fashion? Well, pretty much everything…
1. Multiple Collections
Fast fashion produces eleven collections throughout the year, even though high fashion houses only produce two a year. This puts great strain on resources and creates enormous waste in the manufacturing and also in the markdown of goods during sales.
2. Its Production
Brands exploit workers in developing countries (e.g. Cambodia, Bangladesh, India) making them work for about 13 hours straight, seven days a week, for much less than the standard living wage. Cheap and unethical labour allows retail giants to produce the eleven collections within the year.
“An average garment worker in Bangladesh who sews shirts for fast fashion brands might make 28 taka an hour, or around 33 U.S. cents, and struggle to pay bills even working 60 hours a week. In Cambodia, a garment worker might earn around 85 cents an hour. In India, someone might make 58 cents an hour. Globally, the majority of garment workers don’t earn a living wage.” (Fast Company, 2018).
3. Its Price
Due to its cheap labour and cheap materials, brands can sell their garments at astonishingly cheap prices. This is because fast fashion focuses on quantity over quality. In fact, the industry promotes consumers to buy as much as they can.
4. Its Appreciation
‘Buy it, wear it, bin it’, that’s what fast fashion relies on. Our clothes have no value anymore; they are not a prized possession, something you used cherish and enjoy to wear for a long time.
Cheap clothes and over accumulation have led to this, to this superficial mentality.
This type of fast consumerism has increased an unethical workforce and waste accumulation due to the ‘worthless’ meaning attached to the garments.
5. Its Pollution
Finally, fast fashion is also destroying the environment; it is considered the second most pollutant industry in the world. This addictive consumerism is affecting our water, oceans, soil and air due to waste, chemicals and greenhouse gases.
To learn more about the impacts this industry is having on the environment, please read more here.
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Slow is the Solution to Fast
Pros of Slow Fashion
Slow Fashion is very similar to slow food in regards to its principles. Carlo Petrini established that food has to be good, clean and fair.
- Good: food has to be healthy and of good quality
- Clean: food is produced without damaging the environment
- Fair: economically accessible for consumers (Slow Food International, 2020).
Similarly, for fashion to be slow, it has to also incorporate these principles. For instance:
- Good: the garments have to be durable and made with quality materials
- Clean: garments have to be produced and transported without damaging the environment
- Fair: garments have to be economically accessible for consumers but also fair in regards to the workers’ wage and work environment.
“Slow fashion aims to decrease the speed of production, consumption and disposing by placing greater appreciation on one’s purchase.
Slow Fashion considers the materials used, how the garment is made and who is making it, in order to be ethical without compromising on quality.”
Therefore, garments have to be sustainable and ethical in order for them to be ‘slow’. (Green Fashion Week, 2020).
RubyMoon is 100% Slow
Good, Clean and Fair
RubyMoon collaborates with Healthyseas.org, an NGO who collects ghost fishing nets from the sea. Econyl.com then regenerates the nets into yarn, the material used in all of our garments. This not only makes the product 100% environmentally friendly but also stronger and more durable than other materials.
RubyMoon has clean garments for three main reasons.
1. Firstly, our fabrics are 100% eco-friendly as the material is produced through ghost fishing nets taken from the ocean.
2. Secondly, we use digital printing when dying so to use just the right amount of dye for each garment. Also, the dye is OekoTex certified meaning it causes no harm to the environment.
3. Finally, all the production is made ethically is Europe which lowers the carbon emissions by 42%.
On the one hand, RubyMoon sells its garments at very accessible prices considering the product was made in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. On the other, RubyMoon’s employees are paid a fair wage and work in safe spaces within Europe.
Slow is the New Fast
We believe that all brands should follow a slow and circular approach, we also believe that this type of model will become the new mainstream in the future.
We’ve seen the consequences of fast fashion and linear businesses and clearly it doesn’t work.
It’s time to respect our planet and the citizens within it by rooting for a Slow model, not only for fashion but with every type of existing business in the world.
Note to Self
Carl Honore, author of In Praise of Slowness said:
“Today we are addicted to speed, to cramming more and more into every minute. Every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock, a dash to a finish line that we never seem to reach. This roadrunner culture is taking a toll on everything from our health, diet and work to our communities, relationships and the environment.” (Honoré, 2009).
Take a moment to stop, breathe and look around.
Today do something that defies fast: yoga, meditation, painting, reading, having a walk, cooking or eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the TV.
Right now everything around us is a chaotic and overwhelming mess.
We constantly stress, get depressed, worry.
The reality is that we can’t do much about it, we can’t save the world from everything even if we wanted to.
What we can do is take care of ourselves and focus on our wellbeing.
Do yourself a favour and think about YOU, your mental and physical health, by doing something that defies this incredibly fast and stressful world.
So, do yoga, meditate, paint, read, have a walk, cook or eat dinner at the table.
Please remember; take a moment to stop, breathe and look around.
Fast Company. 2018. Why This Clothing Company Is Making Its Factory Wages Public. [online] Available at: <https://www.fastcompany.com/90213069/why-this-clothing-company-is-making-its-factory-wages-public> [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Goslowworld.com. 2020. The Slow Movement | Go Slow. [online] Available at: <http://www.goslowworld.com/the-slow-movement/> [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Green Fashion Week. 2020. FAST FASHION VS. SLOW FASHION. [online] Available at: <https://www.greenfashionweek.org/sustainability/fast-fashion-vs-slow-fashion/> [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Greenpeace.org.uk. 2019. Fast Fashion – This Industry Needs An Urgent Makeover. [online] Available at: <https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/fast-fashion-this-industry-needs-an-urgent-makeover/> [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Honoré, C., 2009. In Praise Of Slowness. Pymble, NSW: HarperCollins ebooks.
Slow Food International. 2020. Slow Food International. [online] Available at: <https://www.slowfood.com/> [Accessed 17 March 2020].