Improving our fashion industry so that it is more sustainable and ethical is a key factor in reducing pollution and global carbon emissions. Fast fashion is one of the many issues that makes climate change worse. So let's dive into what it is and why it's important to support slow fashion.
What You Need to Know About Fast Fashion
Why is Fast Fashion a Problem?
"The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. And while the environmental impact of flying is now well known, fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined" -BBC
The production of clothing has a very complex supply chain which makes it more difficult to figure out the amount of carbon emissions produced during the process.
The UN estimates that one pair of jeans requires one kilogram of cotton. Since cotton is usually grown in dry environments, producing this kilogram requires about 7,500–10,000 litres of water.
Slow Fashion Terms
Fast Fashion: a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating current trends and high-fashion designs, and mass-producing them at low costs.
Slow Fashion: a concept describing the opposite to fast fashion and part of the "slow movement", which advocates for a production process that respects people, the environment and animals.
Conscious Consumer: a shopping philosophy that says that we should become more the awareness of the power of our purchases no matter what is going on in the world around us. The conscious consumer is one that looks for ways to make positive decisions on what they buy and solutions to the negative impacts caused by consumerism.
The Slow Fashion Philosophy
Slow fashion is the idea that fashion is a beautiful, needed, worthwhile, creative work that carries an equal balance of both accountability and expressiveness between the producer and the consumer.
Slow fashion respects the resources used in its production. It does not waste, it does not abuse and it does not overproduce.
Slow fashion cherishes the dignity of human lives throughout the supply chain, from crop growing to textile manufacturing, to garment production factories, to end-of-life disposal.
Slow fashion believes in the life-affirming principles of ‘people before profit; purpose beyond profit’ and sources textiles and supplies accordingly; and manufactures, advertises, and sells accordingly.
How Can You Build a Sustainable Wardrobe and Become a Conscious Consumer?
Buy second-hand clothes
Buy clothes that are high quality
Shop from local shops & small businesses
Value and take good care of the clothes you own
Shop less, choose better, and only buy pieces you absolutely love
Shop from brands that use sustainable fabrics and materials
Consider what happens to your clothes at the end of their life
If you're interested in learning more, check out the Beginner's Guide to Sustainable Fashion