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What is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is a sustainable approach to fashion whereby the processes and resources required to make garments are focused on quality, ethics (fair treatment of labor workers) and low environmental impact.
The slow fashion movement is largely a response to the immense overproduction and waste by many big name fashion labels. In fact, fashion accounts for 20 to 35 percent of microplastic flows into the ocean and is responsible for more carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Many global fashion companies also rely on offshore production in India, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh which have lax labor laws where wages can be low and extended working hours are common in unsafe factories.
So what can you do about it?
The first and best thing you can do is contribute to the circular economy by shopping high quality vintage and preowned items right here on consignment!
The second is that if you buy new clothes, make sure to choose organic and natural fibers that don't require chemicals to be produced. We love this guide on eco-friendly fibers.
Third, ensure you choose clothes that are made in countries with stricter environmental regulations for factories including the Canada, US and the EU. Here's a great curated list of Canadian ethical and sustainable online retailers.
Fourth, educate yourself and share with others! Here are some resources we love:
- Conscious Chatter
- Episode 187: The Price of Fast Fashion and The Future of Clothes
- Episode 136: The Minimalist Wardrobe
- Episode 129: The Garment Worker Center + One Woman’s Story
- Episode 85: The Good Trade + Social Good
- Episode 54: Good On You + Apps For Consumer Action
- Fashion Fix with Charli Howard (BBC Radio)
- Fashion No Filter- Eco-Warriors Episode
- The Wardrobe Crisis with Clare Howard
- Pre-Loved Podcast with Emily Stochl - Season 1 Episode 4
- Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion & The Future of Clothes
- How to Break Up with Fast Fashion
- The Conscious Closet
- To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?
- Alyssa Beltempo - Slow Fashion & Shop Your Closet Videos - New Videos Every Sunday!
- Audrey Coyne - Slow Fashion Hacks For Every Budget
Articles and Reports:
- ThredUP 2019 and 2020 resale reports
- The State of Fashion 2020 - McKinsey & Company
- UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable
- Greenpeace - Unearthed
- Made in Ethiopia: Challenges in the Garment Industry's New Frontier
- Tainted Garments: The exploitation of women and girls in India's home-based garment sector
Follow THE SLOW FIT on Instagram for weekly resources on how you can support slow, sustainable fashion! Be sure to tag us in your own posts and use the hashtag #getslow.