What is Slow Fashion?

It’s serious, deliberate, and all-encompassing.

By Manesha

Editors: Namita and Drashti

What is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is the polar opposite of fast fashion. It refers to a fashion awareness and approach that takes into account the procedures and resources needed to create apparel. It promotes the purchase of higher-quality clothes that will last longer, as well as equitable treatment of people, animals, and the environment.

Slow fashion and sustainable or ethical fashion, in reality, have a lot in common. They are sister movements with similar general principles. The primary difference with slow fashion is that it focuses more particularly on minimising consumption and manufacturing.

Slow fashion is a popular response to quick fashion. It’s serious, deliberate, and all-encompassing. It’s also a case for putting a stop to wasteful manufacturing, convoluted supply systems, and senseless consumption.


Kate Fletcher, an author, design activist, and lecturer, was the first to develop the word. Slow fashion, she says, is quality-driven rather than time-driven. Other early adopters of the slow fashion movement point out that it promotes slower manufacturing, integrates sustainability and ethics, and eventually encourages buyers to spend in well-made, long-lasting clothing.

While slow, ethical, and sustainable fashion all describe efforts toward an aspirational goal—rethinking our relationship with clothes—slow fashion combines a brand’s practises (and promises!) with a customer’s shopping habits. The movement strives to develop an industry that benefits both the environment and all people. Slow fashion will be the norm in a perfect society, and perhaps it will be soon.

Slow fashion’s humble beginnings

A tsunami of change has swept across the fashion business in the last decade or two. A growing number of firms are rejecting the ideals of rapid fashion in favour of a more environmentally friendly approach to clothing production.

The term ‘slow fashion’ was coined by accident. Following the slow food movement, it was invented by Kate Fletcher from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Fletcher identified a need for a slower pace in the fashion sector, similar to the slow food trend.

Slow fashion is the contrary of the rapid fashion concept, which developed roughly 20 years ago and saw clothing become more affordable and trend cycles shorten. Despite increasing sustainability attempts to complete the loop in fashion, businesses like H&M burn several tonnes of unsold items each year, it’s evident that this mindset is an essential component of the movement as a whole.


Fast fashion companies churn out new designs virtually every week, and just around 1% of all clothing materials are recycled into new clothes. Slow fashion, with its slower manufacturing timetables, small-batch collections, and zero-waste designs, turns this concept on its head. Rather than following fads (and filling landfills), these manufacturers produce timeless and flexible items by combining lasting designs with layering alternatives. Customers are encouraged to create simple wardrobes and invest in items that will last a lifetime.

However, without the use of high-quality materials, this is a pointless venture. If companies want to make apparel that will last, the fabric must be durable. Slow fashion stores frequently employ linen, organic cotton, or Tencel to make durable garments that are delicate enough to have a low environmental effect.

Slow fashion businesses, in addition to caring for the environment via deliberate design, create apparel in-house or locally, giving them complete control over the supply chain process and labour conditions. There’s no need to grow rapidly or design things that will appeal to numerous people. Every seam, lining, and fold of a beautifully created garment is infused with value in this not-so-new view on the business.


The development of fast fashion has had significant social and environmental consequences. Zara, for example, manufactures around 840 million pieces of apparel each year for sale in its 6,000 shops throughout the world, the majority of which are made by employees earning below the poverty line. Wealthy rivers in China, India, and Bangladesh have been ruined by the same manufacturing effluent discharges, resulting in biological dead zones rich with hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, small plastic microfibres fall from synthetic garments during the washing process, polluting our water supply and food chain.

However, some businesses are defying these trends by concentrating on “slow fashion,” or clothing with timeless patterns and superior, long-lasting quality. For example, Encircled, situated in Toronto, is one of the few fashion firms in Canada that is a B Corp, which means it has been accredited for its social and environmental performance. Encircled’s facilities are located in Toronto, Canada, and they are OEKO-TEX(R) 100 Certified, which means they utilise only sustainably produced, ultra-soft textiles to manufacture their garments. They’re also open about their supplies, with a list of their main textiles available online.

Slow fashion has evolved into a movement.

Garments were sourced and manufactured locally prior to the Industrial Revolution. People would either purchase long-lasting garments or manufacture their own using the materials and resources accessible to them. Clothing represented the individuals who wore it, as well as their location and culture.

Some of these historical techniques have resurfaced in modern-day slow fashion. It urges us to take a step back and consider if we truly need anything new or whether we can go through our wardrobe for a forgotten item that only needs a minor repair. It thus pushes us to buy fewer, higher-quality clothing less frequently, and to buy second-hand wherever possible. When it comes to new purchases, mindful buyers, rather than buying six inexpensive polyester blouses that unravel after one or two wears, spend in higher quality goods.

They’ll be manufactured with more environmentally friendly procedures and textiles that emphasise the art of clothing creation and honour the abilities of artisans, such as one or two organic cotton or linen shirts that you know will endure for years. Finally, slow fashion encourages us to stop seeing our garments as disposable and instead repair, upcycle, pass along, or dispose of them appropriately when they are no longer useful.

Slow fashion has gained popularity in recent years as customers seek higher levels of sustainability and ethical standards. According to research, the environment, ethics, and sustainability are linked to 19% of the top fast fashion-related searches. As knowledge and popularity grow, this slower, more deliberate approach to fashion will help the earth and all of its people.

Slow fashion brands have certain qualities.

  1. Made from high-quality, environmentally friendly fabrics like linen.
  2. Garments that are locally sourced, made, and marketed
  3. Smaller (local) establishments, rather than large chain stores, are frequently used to sell these items.
  4. Few, particular styles each collection, published twice or three times a year at the most, or a year-round collection
  5. Frequently made-to-order to cut down on wasteful production.
  6. Clothing is more ageless than fashionable.

How is the fashion industry changing as a result of this slower approach?

The ideals that make up the slow fashion movement imply a full revamp of consumption and manufacturing, from high-end to small-scale designers. As we’ve seen, this strategy has sparked a slew of changes in recent years, most notably in apparel manufacture, but also in customer behaviour.

While slow fashion is gaining popularity, there is still a long way to go. To truly support the slow fashion movement, we must join the expanding movement of individuals who are seeing beyond the “appeal” of fast fashion’s cheap, high turnover. By streamlining our wardrobes, we can keep awareness of what a brand represents and focus on quality rather than quantity. Isn’t it true that less is more?


Anyone may join the slow fashion movement since it has a low entrance barrier. You don’t even need to purchase new clothing! Here are a few ways you can help:

1. Look through your closet and remember where some of your favourite items came from. This might be as basic as recalling the time you spilt spaghetti on your white t-shirt (and then rescued it!) or as elaborate as making room for a piece of clothes passed down from a loved one.

2. Construct a capsule wardrobe. This wardrobe strategy needs you to be honest with yourself about what apparel is appropriate for your lifestyle. A capsule wardrobe can only include a limited number of things. Your clothing must be in good condition.

3. Make purchases with care. Begin by resisting the desire to make spontaneous purchases. Before you go out and get a new pair of shoes, call a buddy or look through your current wardrobe to see what would go with what you already have. When you’re ready to buy anything new, check out second-hand apps or thrift stores first.

Hello, everyone! If you liked this Article, do check out the related posts. Comment and like if you would like to read more similar works from the author. And don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.

Hello! I’m Manesha.

An embodiment of chaotic neutral, that’s how I’d  like to describe myself. I am a passionate reader, simultaneously I try to reflect and articulate my thoughts through writing. I am a curious learner, biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet, who refuses to do anything without “stress of the moment” yet still manages to finish everything in time. (Luckily). I  want to  evolve  to  an  extent  by  acquiring  skills  that  make  me  a  valuable  professional  in  whichever field I go. I  strive  for  the  best,  this  organization  will take  up  my journey  of  inevitable  challenges  in  a  high  professional  environment  to  gain  practical experience.

Instagram- https://instagram.com/Maneshahahah/

Email- maneshajadon@gmail.com

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