You may have heard the terms ‘sustainable’, ‘ethical’ and ‘slow’ fashion but what does it really mean?
Let’s break it down and start with sustainable. Sustainable fashion means promoting more environmentally, socially, and ethically conscious production and consumption of clothing. However, there is a lot more to it than just the production process of clothing. Green Strategy has identified seven main forms of more sustainable fashion production and consumption:
- Green & Clean
- On Demand & Custom Made
- Repair, Redesign & Upcycle
- Rent, Lease & Swap
- Secondhand & Vintage
- High Quality & Timeless Design
- Fair & Ethical
As you can see sustainable fashion is a very broad term and really includes all aspects of the lifecycle. Shortly said, it means using eco-friendly materials and production processes as well as using a ‘print to order’ system to reduce unnecessary waste. Lastly, it means treating everyone involved in the production process fairly and ethically.
Ethical fashion is a fairly recent term which counteracts the practice of many large brands in the fashion industry known for bad working conditions and gross underpayment of employees such as in infamous sweatshops. Ethical fashion on the other hand means fair treatment of all people involved in the production process, good working conditions and fair pay.
Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion which is fast and cheap (and often of low quality). These days many fashion brands change their collection every few weeks which has a damaging effect on the environment. Slow fashion is more conscious of the processes and resources required to produce clothing and is more sustainable and ethical. It involves buying high quality clothing which will last longer.
Some characteristics of slow fashion are:
- Few, specific styles per collection
- High quality, sustainable materials
- Often in smaller, local stores but there are also larger stores who carry slow fashion
- Locally sourced, produced, and sold clothing
Sustainable, ethical, and slow fashion go hand-in-hand and are all about being kinder to the environment and people involved in the process.