Slow fashion can be a tough industry to define, but most will explain that it is clothing that is created in an ethical and sustainable manner. That in itself is problematic as ethics can be subjective and environmental sustainability can be approached with a number of difference practices.
One way I like to look at slow fashion is as the antithesis of fast fashion. Fast fashion is much easier to recognize: cheaply made and often trendy clothing made to satisfy this month’s fashion craze just to be put on sale and quickly replaced with a new item next month.
The fast turn over and cheap price of these items necessitate cutting corners on fabrication quality, a disregard for environmental impact of production, and often the exploitation of the people constructing the garments.
Slow fashion, on the other hand, is mindful. True slow fashion should be made to last. I talk a lot about clothing serving the person who wears it, and that means designing clothes people want to wear because it is well constructed and feels good on. Slow fashion contradicts our culture of disposable consumerism and impulse purchasing. People are willing to wait for slowly made pieces because they know that they are making a long term investment.
Slow fashion concerns itself with more than profit, it helps forge a new cultural norm of human-centered capitalism or capitalism for social good. Therefore slow fashion producers should pay a fair, living wage to workers and provide safe and healthy work environments. It should be considerate of its impact on our planet and resource use. It provides consumers with a product without a built in negative karma, because it was made in an ethical and sustainable way.
Without adequate transparency and an understanding of the fashion industry it can be hard to tell if a brand is operating ethically or whether or not greenwashing is occurring. That is why I am starting this series of blog posts looking inside Two Days Off (“Inside TDO”) where I share our practices and why I make certain choices when it comes to our operations. If you have questions for me please drop them down below, but keep in mind Two Days Off is still a young company. I am still learning. In this first year I have already made changes as I have earned more (such as removing all plastic from our packaging, including the tape used to affix labels!).
More to come,