So recently my partner and I had an animated conversation about buying clothes. He wanted to buy some new chinos and I made a comment about slow fashion and needing to be mindful of our purchases. My partner responds to my comment by stating that he has had these pants for 5 years – and questioned, how much longer does he need to keep chinos that have buttons falling off them, for it to be considered a ‘slow fashion’ purchase. We looked at each other for a second and realised…wait, we don’t actually know the answer to this.
This got us thinking – what determines a piece of clothing ‘slow fashion’? Is it determined by how long we hold on to our clothes? Or is it determined by where you buy your clothing from? i.e. the local op shop.
Well… it’s a little of both and a few other factors. After some googling and learning from our eco-conscious friends we have put together a quick cheat sheet of what slow fashion is and how to spot a slow fashion brand.
So what is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is all about reducing our clothing consumption – which means we buy less products, shop less often and as a result throw away less; which ultimately reduces our impact.
The slow fashion movement advocates for buying better quality clothing that lasts longer in your wardrobe and it also takes into consideration how the products are made, who makes them and how the making and distribution will affect our planet. So, it’s kind of a big deal.
How to spot a slow fashion brand
- Their products are made from high quality and sustainable materials such as recycled plastics or organic cotton
- Their products are made-to-order – this ultimately reduces wastage
- Products are timeless and can add to your ‘time capsule wardrobe’
- They have a seasonless collections
- The brand is usually locally owned, designed, produced and sold
So what about those chinos? Were they a slow fashion purchase? Well, kind of. See the chinos came from a fast fashion production line, which means 100s to 1000s of the same product were produced and sold, but the thing about fast fashion lines is that whatever they don’t sell they throw away – usually into landfill.
I know what you’re thinking – so HOW exactly was this a slow fashion purchase? Well my partner is not one to throw away clothing lightly. To put things into perspective for you, he is a typical country boy, that holds onto t-shirts until the fabric becomes see-through and holey and he gets years out of his purchases. Which is a step in the sustainable direction.
Another step in the sustainable direction is what he does with his clothing once he deems them no longer wearable. Being a tradie and a bit of a handyman around the home, he is constantly using rags to clean up after working on our cars or patching walls. So he repurposes his old shirts! (Big YES in the Sequela world!)
In terms of the chino’s next stop in their life – we will be donating them to our local op shop.
While this purchase wasn’t ‘slow fashion’ – the actions my partner has put in place with his chinos have been sustainably minded. Which is just as important when it comes to managing our impact.
Something else to keep in mind on our sustainable living journey is something we all learnt in school. As we make the lifestyle change from ‘fast fashion’ to ‘slow fashion’ consumption, we can REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and REPURPOSE our past purchases as we replace them with slow fashion products. Before throwing an old garment in the bin, have a quick think – ‘could someone else get joy from this?’ Or ‘can I turn this into something else and give it a new purpose?’.
Get charitable or get creative – our planet will thank you for it.
Looking to start your slow fashion journey? Check out our sustainable brands today.