What Is “Slow Fashion” and Why Is It Important?

What Is “Slow Fashion” and Why Is It Important?

Written by Elissa Collins - Tweedy Clothing Ambassador


I have never really been someone to follow fashion, in terms of the latest trends that is, but I do buy certain types of clothes which I know I get through like there’s no tomorrow. For example, jeans, vest tops, cheap sportswear…to some extent my philosophy has been I just need something ‘cheap’ for the holiday, or a ‘cheap’ top for a very rare night out!


Whilst I am completely in love with the Tweedy Clothing range (I dread to think how many items I own!), and I ‘feel good’ about buying ‘sustainable clothing’…do I actually know what that means?


Well…the answer is no not really! So, I have set about to write this blog to give a beginner’s guide to ‘slow fashion’ which I hope will make you think, as it has me…


To understand slow fashion, we need to understand fast fashion. Popular high street brands generally mass produce items, cheaply and we consume them at a rate of knots. We readily discard our used, old clothes to make way for new items. I guarantee there will also be a proportion of the items bought which don’t get worn, the sad reality on pre-loved sites advertising an item ‘BNWT’ (brand new with tags). The garments are of cheaper quality, and not designed to last.


Other than the sheer volume of wasted garments which is unsustainable, the manufacturing processes are harmful to the environment, using up precious resources to grow the raw materials and harmful chemicals to give a certain ‘worn’ look, or particular dye. Not to mention the low wage and poor quality conditions some of the workers endure to sustain our fast fashion needs.


Slow fashion is not just about buying a quality product, but looking at its provenance and making an informed choice as to whether it is environmentally friendly from the inception to the purchase. I have listed a few thoughts to question when you next go shopping:


  • Check out your favourite clothing brands, what measures have they taken to improve their manufacturing processes? More frequently we are seeing ‘vegan’ ranges of clothes and shoes, using by-products of vegetation, or recycled plastics.


  • See if they have subscribed to any standards, this lands the accountability on them, there are may certifications and badges which means they are operating to certain ethical standards.


  • Some brands give back a % of sales to causes or charities from certain purchases which help raise awareness and promote sustainability.


  • The Fashion Transparency Index is a great resource which scores companies on various areas: Policies & Commitments; Governance; Traceability; Know, Show and Fix, and Spotlight Issues.


  • Look at the fabrics, organic fabrics are much kinder to the environment, for example organic cotton avoids the use chemicals and pesticides.


  • Have a read on the processes used, for example to manufacture denim. Levi’s calculated it took 3781 litres of water to produce 1 pair of jeans, not to mention the other chemicals used in the process.


  • Look to recycle, buy second hand and investigate smaller brands which specialise more in sustainable clothing.


This blog is not intended to preach, and I am as guilty as anyone of purchasing for convenience, but its food for thought, and has definitely made me think of my immediate choices around clothes purchases and the impact on the environment. However small, its good to take a personal step of accountability to support clothing brands who look to respect the entire supply chain from the workers to the shop floor.


Written by Elissa Collins - Tweedy Clothing Ambassador

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