Slow Fashion Up-Rising
Slow Fashion is arguably one of the fastest growing trends on the ‘conscious consumer’ scene. Catching onto an emerging shift in awareness, celebrities started rocking the Green Carpet Challenge back in 2013, throwing the spotlight on sustainable fashion, and many were curious to see how long it would last. Unlike most trends however, this fashion revolution kept gaining momentum, making it clear that this is a movement towards something bigger, and not a passing fad.
At the same time, environmental activists have made it impossible to ignore our collective complicity in climate change: Most of us don't think twice about buying on a whim at stores such as H&M or Zara, because it's relatively cheap 'n easy. But how often do we think about the true cost - on an ecosocial level - of what we bought?
High-Street Fashion’s Dark Side
The grimey world of sweatshop manufacturing and unethical realities of cheap labour came into mainstream critical attention during the mid 90’s. Most notably, when Michael Jordan had to defend the morality earning millions of dollars from Nike sponsorship, while the workers making his trademark sneakers at factories in SE Asia were being paid pennies.
Reports of child labour, sub-standard working conditions, trafficking, and human rights violations were (and still are) common. At the same time, the corporations involved were, by and large, able to distance themselves from what was going on by claiming that it was the subcontractors they hired in compliance with international laws, who were actually at fault.
Fast forward 25-odd years later, and we see that while there is more pressure on companies to uphold ethical and Fair Trade standards, little is done to enforce it. And, with most things, impactful change will always be consumer demand driven.
Conscious Consumers Are The Real ‘Influencers’
Almost on par with the oil industry, fashion is the second largest polluting industry on the planet, and one of the biggest consumers of water in the world. Throw in the environmental impact of microplastics on our oceans, and it becomes clear that we need to change how fashion is viewed, valued, and consumed.
We can no longer be blind to the consequences of the choices we make. Especially when mindful practices can have such a positive impact on many, MANY, lives. The more that we - as consumers - take an interest and pride in knowing where/who our goods come from, we can hold unethical businesses accountable. To this end, we’ve seen the rise of conscious movements such as Farmers Markets, a plastic revolution, and wholesome plant based diets taking centre stage.
The Slow Fashion Movement - and the guiding principles of quality, good wages, ethics, safety, and environmental sustainability - is impossible to find fault with. Yes, the monetary price on the goods we buy is much higher...But making mindful purchases that benefit the entire supply chain all the way down to grassroots levels is even more rewarding - and in the long run, cost less: When we eat better, we enjoy healthier lives; and when we shop better, we don’t need to buy as much.
Quality over quantity comes out the winner. Every. Single. Time.