What is Slow Fashion?
Slow Fashion, in a nutshell, is the opposite of what you consider “fashion” today. Slow Fashion is sustainable, non-mass-produced clothing and accessories. These items are purchased and worn for the long term. Your style also might be serving a higher purpose vital to you and the world.
You might think this means buying second-hand, but that is not entirely true. First, let’s look at why slow Fashion is essential.
It may come as no surprise that the clothing industry is a 1.34 trillion dollar industry globally and grows daily. As you can imagine, a manufacturing sector of this size leaves a substantial carbon footprint.
Today’s fashion industry is hard on the environment.
The fashion industry is responsible for around 10% of global carbon build-up, producing 5 times more CO2 than the aviation industry. Whoa. That’s a lot of damage the fashion industry causes to our lovely planet and the people who walk upon it.
But take the environment out of the mix for a moment. Let’s talk about humans.
Some hard facts about mass manufacturing.
In large factories, especially overseas, the work conditions are often (but not always) horrific. Workers rarely get paid a living wage. Usually, in Asian factories, workers must live at the factory, only going home once a year. The commonplace hours are 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week. This scenario is not a pretty picture. But, it can change by the choices we make as a community of consumers.
Do you think it is time for a change? At WomenServe, we certainly do. We support slow Fashion as a way of serving women, their families, and the world at large. The women of the Thar Artisan Collective sit in circles, sharing community, while they work on their stitching. That is a big shift from overcrowded factories making the same thing over and over again.
Here are some examples of slow Fashion you can truly get behind.
Recycled Fashion is what it states. Many people wear clothing for a short time, perhaps a season. Then, they discard it to purchase more fast fashion products and throw them out. Ewe. But this plays to your advantage when you are a conscious consumer as well as a fashionista.
Shopping second-hand does not have to mean bargain bins and garage sale finds. Websites such as Sustainable Jungle have many resources for sustainable shopping, and slow Fashion finds.
Re-purposed Fashion is slow Fashion.
Re-purposed Fashion is taking old items and re-purposing them into new fashion products. This sustainable practice is almost always done on a small, handcrafted scale. Many of the items in the WomenServe shop are created with recycled Indian Saaris and other textiles. Those pieces are then carefully stitched together to create beautiful works of art that you can now wear as a fashion statement. Who doesn’t feel good about that?!
Shopping as an act of service.
Another slow fashion staple is the concept of shopping for service. Yes, it helps if you look for small batch production. You should also pay attention to fair trade when possible. But you can also choose to support businesses (preferably women-owned) that are doing amazing things and creating impact with their products.
WomenServe is a nonprofit organization that uses 100% of its profit to build better lives for women in India. You will feel good about supporting this initiative while getting unique Fashion to showcase your individuality and free spirit.
Artisan Made Goods
Most products in stores are made by mass production in factories. But if you really want to support slow Fashion as a way of sustainable servitude, buy artisan made. By supporting artisan groups, such as TAC, you help a woman build a business to support her children. You help her reach financial independence. And you will undoubtedly feel good about your choice to support slow Fashion.
Help us increase access to water security, health & hygiene, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls in Rajasthan, India.
Shop the one of a kind, artisan made products from the WomenServe store and help another woman reach for her financial liberation!