Slow Fashion

Waiting isnt fun.

When I think of waiting I think of doctors surgeries and slow cooked beef. I get restless, which could be a generation thing. Grandparents are great at waiting and whats more they love the anticipation of others waiting for their stuff; hand written postcards, knitted jumpers, holiday photographs and…you guessed it, slow cooked beef (which i love by the way)!

Today, thanks to smart technologies, our lifestyles are alot more instantaneous than our Grandparents. We speed tap emails half way round the world, post our holiday snaps while still on holiday and order our food and clothing online, without even touching a fabric or piece of fruit.

One industry that exploits this need for speed more than most is the fashion industry.

During the Nineties fashion retailer Zara started a fast fashion revolution squeezing manufacturing lead times to deliver newness instore every week. As a result new fashion designs are shipped at a rapid rate, there are few basics and reorders are rare. The Zara customer knows when she likes something she had better snap it up quick! This ever changing storescape creates a desire to consume regularly. According to Forbes in 2014, the company had sales of $19.7 Billion making Zara one of the leading retailers in the market today. With this in mind I wonder how much faster we can get as consumers and producers? What about the waste? What about the quality?

Stella McCartney says this about sustainable fashion which I like:

“It’s really the job of fashion designers now to turn things on their head in a different way, and not just try to turn a dress on its head every season. Try and ask questions about how you make that dress, where you make it and what materials you’re using. I think that’s far more interesting actually. I think that the way to create sustainable fashion is to keep asking these questions while making sure to make desirable, luxurious, beautiful clothing and accessories that women want to buy”.

This changing mind set in the creation and communication of fashion is growing and soon the value of a product won’t be in a signature check, a celebrity endorsement or a catwalk aesthetic. It will be in the process surrounding the product.

I hopped onto the Levi’s site to read about their Waterless campaign. The Levis brand have completely re imagined their denim finishing process to save water. If you are curious like me about how they did it click here

Another campaign that also interests me is H&M’s Reduce, reuse, recycle, a global garment collection initiative aimed at reducing the amount of clothing that goes to landfill.

When global retailers like H&M start to take a critical stance against fast fashion its a sign that conscious fashion consumption and global responsibility are beginning to take root in the minds of regular consumers.

Of course there will always be a large consumer group that doesn’t care about over consumption, (we’ve all witnessed the Primark effect) but for the rest of us we can start addressing slow fashion by just changing the way we think. Vivienne Westwood sums it up perfectly when she says, ‘buy less, choose well and make it last”.

How do you think the way we consume fashion will change?

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