We have all occasionally bought fashionable outfits from brands which are notorious for copying high-end fashion, causing rapid turnover of clothing, and engaging in unsustainably produced materials. Fast fashion brands still dominate the market when it comes to top-of-the-line clothing, and most people are knowingly or unknowingly reliant on them. We are often focused on the quality of these products, overlooking the fact that these brands use harmful chemicals and operate under inhumane working conditions.
What Is Slow Fashion?
"A staggering 75% of the fashion supply chain's material ends up in landfills. This is equivalent to ‘one garbage truck of textiles every second.’" - Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 Report
In response to fast fashion, slow fashion like Beatrice Bayliss have become increasingly popular. A key value of the movement is a commitment for producing in small batches, reducing waste, and minimising consumption. It was Kate Fletcher who introduced the phrase "Slow Fashion" for the first time. Slow fashion, in the opinion of the professor and author is “a movement centred on quality rather than on time.” By contrast with fast fashion, which consumes a vast amount of energy and resources and uses dangerous dyes and chemicals, slow fashion produces clothes that are both durable and environmentally friendly. Take a look at these five easy ways to incorporate slow fashion into your daily routine:
1. When Shopping, Choose Wisely
There is a high probability that you purchase your clothes from a brand that claims to be sustainable, but does not adhere to its own principles. The term "greenwashing" describes this practice. Companies use greenwashing to make their products appear more environmentally friendly, often by making unsubstantiated claims or by obscuring the facts of the environmental impact of their production. This deceptive marketing practice can lead to people making purchases that are not truly sustainable, but rather just marketed as such.
Thus, it is essential that you conduct extensive research before making any purchases, or at Beatrice Bayliss with the help of Topl we have introduced the product passport which showcases the journey and describes what environmental cost is at each point, we’ve done the hard work for you! In recent years, sustainable fashion businesses and slow fashion have been growing rapidly. If you are looking for curated and carefully sourced collections in small quantities, then you should consider smaller, slow fashion brands like us. You can avoid falling back into the fast fashion trap by compiling a list of eco-friendly or slow fashion brands.
2. Opt For Chemical-Free Fabrics
Most fashion brands use synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon and lycra. They are made from oil-based materials, which are not biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to break down. The production of these items often involves the use of hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde and azo dyes, which can be harmful to the environment and human health. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and can cause a wide range of health issues, including rashes, headaches, nausea, and cancer. Additionally, when these fabrics are washed, they release microplastics into the environment.
Ecotextiles and natural fabrics, such as cotton, bamboo, hemp, and wool are much more sustainable and are a much better choice for the environment. It is therefore important to ensure that the fabrics of any clothing you intend to purchase are of high quality.
3. Build A Capsule Wardrobe
If you were honest with yourself, how many clothes do you have in your wardrobe that you bought on a whim, but don't wear anymore? Are there ever times when you open your wardrobe and you feel like there are no clothes to wear despite there being a million items piled up?
The majority of the time when we shop, we buy unique looking items, only to find that they do not match anything else and are eventually forgotten, not only leading to an unorganised closet, but this practice is also highly wasteful.
Capsule wardrobes can not only help you declutter, but they also provide you with a variety of outfits that will complement each other and be environmentally friendly. Make sure that you choose colours that complement your skin and each other, and stick to them. Make sure you only buy pieces that can be worn in several different ways and that are made from sustainable textiles.
4. Don't Toss It Out!
Selling, renting, trading, tailoring, mending, refurbishing, and donating new clothes will allow you to get rid of old clothes and make room for some new ones. All of these options are much better than simply throwing out your clothes. Subsequently purchasing vintage clothing, thrifting, sharing, swapping, and renting clothes are all excellent examples of environmentally friendly fashion. These changes are also financially beneficial since they typically cost less than buying new clothes. Additionally, making alterations to clothes extends the life of the item, which helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
5. Keep Your Clothes In Good Condition By Going The Extra Mile
The simplest step is often overlooked. The best way to extend the life of your clothing is to take good care of it. The shelf life of high quality sustainable fabrics is longer since they are made from natural materials and are expensive. Nevertheless, they require some special care in order to ensure that you will be able to use them for a long time. This includes properly washing and drying them according to the instructions on the labels, using appropriate detergents, avoiding contact with rough surfaces and surfaces that are too hot, and storing them in a place free from moths, dust and dirt.
Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the environmental and ethical issues associated with the fashion industry, leading to an increased demand for sustainable clothing options. This shift in consumer demand is causing fast fashion brands to lose their market share, as more people are opting for ethical and sustainable clothing.
To reach this goal, we need to be mindful when shopping and make conscious decisions when it comes to what we are buying. We need to support brands that are ethical and sustainable, not just those that offer the lowest prices. We also need to use our voices to advocate for change, and to educate others about the importance of transitioning to slow fashion.
By Simran Raghav