As its name suggests, the Slow Movement refers to the act of “doing slowly.” Meaning that something is made with time, being careful, and taking care of details.
For months we had been hearing the news for weeks that a dangerous virus was killing people so quickly. China “was closed.” And Europe switched on the warning lights. An invisible enemy arrived and changed everyone’s life, perhaps forever.
Time stopped, and we understood the importance of doing things right.
It was March 20 (2020), and Argentina, same as many other countries did weeks before, was closed to the world.
The compulsory isolation begun. Buenos Aires was a completely different city from the bustling, intense, and lively city I arrived eight years ago. The neighbourhood stores were closed, the buses were empty, and people looked out from the windows, without fully understanding what was happening.
And silence, a lot of silence.
Time stopped, and we started to rethink many things: the sense of being, of sharing, of enjoying what really matters.
Also, we get started to think about the way of consuming. Questions began to arise for which perhaps we didn’t want to know answers before.
The Slow Fashion movement is not new. Although it has become more popular during the last years, the Covid crisis has marked a turning point from which it already seems that there is no return.
The number of consumers who make conscious decisions and prefer to invest in sustainable proposals is increasing.
Long ago, experts and scientists raised their voices to give a clear message: it is now or never.
Changing consumer habits is not optional; it is urgent.
Did you know that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world?. And that massive productions generate 10% of all carbon emissions on the planet?
We don’t need to research much to see it: the slow fashion is the most sustainable, ecological, and ethical option to face the great challenge, which is none other than taking care of our planet in a most effective way.
Slow Fashion and the time for a change
Have you ever wondered where your clothes come from?
Have you been interested in looking at the label of the last jeans you bought to see what fibers they were made of?
Have you been curious to know how many production processes the skirt you wear has gone through before you find it hanging in your favorite store?
What happens if I tell you that to make a shirt (at least) six people were involved.
They are a lot of things that, perhaps, you have never considered.
Do not blame yourself; I didn’t think about it either until one day I became aware of it.
The Slow Fashion concept was born in 2007 by Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at the Center for Sustainable Fashion in London. But it was until a tragedy that happened in Bangladesh (2013) that left the fashion industry naked.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza building (a factory where garments were made in deplorable conditions for well-known Western brands) caused cultural, social, and environmental movements, such as the Fashion Revolution.
The ten key point of their manifesto was published by this global movement where designers, producers, workers, and consumers come together to make a massive change.
It promotes ethical labor conditions, being heard, valued, and respected through decent wages. And the need to create products that grant animal life, as well as the environment. These are some of the keys of the manifesto.
The virus that turned the world upside down did not forgive the fashion industry
The year 2020 also made a point on the calendar. Facing consumers who increasingly demand and are committed to reducing their negative impact on the environment, the fashion industry had to reinvent itself.
As a result of the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus, millions of businesses had no alternative but close.
The apparel industry was not an exception, and the surviving brands have to show their “green side.” It is not surprising to see how fast fashion brands are now the world leader in using certified organic cotton.
Good intentions are not enough. That is why some labels make a big effort (and marketing campaigns) to show their greenest side. This posture is known as “greenwashing.” Or what is the same: bad practices that some companies sell as sustainable products when, in reality, they are not sustainable at all.
Some tips to join the revolution
Now, let’s face it. Living an eco-friendly life is not easy.
Getting rid of so many habits could end up upsetting you, making you feel like you are failing.
And that’s not the idea.
The idea is to contribute from your place, with small actions that, over time, will help to make a change.
Nowadays, there are (more and more) labels that use organic materials to make their products. Also, many of them produce locally. And all the people involved in the production process work under decent conditions and receive fair wages. So, their rights are respected.
Their valuable proposal stands on a circular economy: rethink, redesign, remanufacture, repair, redistribute, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.
Brands such as Ananas-Anam, which uses pineapple leaves to make textiles, or WAWWA Clothing, which uses 100% recycled plastic fibers from the ocean, have become more influential to the Slow Fashion journey.
However, many people are still not engaged, or maybe they do not know these brands. Or even they ignore their philosophy.
Recent surveys show the main reasons why consumers do not adopt more environmentally friendly habits are the lack of options for their needs, the difficulty in finding information, and the price of the products.
In short, if that is your case, you can start by supporting labels that work with local suppliers. Or buy brands that invest in recyclable packaging and encourage the responsible use of products. Instead of those who promote the compulsive purchase of low-value products, or labels that use materials with questionable origin, or articles that won’t last more than one season.
As my mother says, sometimes cheap is expensive.
Social networks make it easier to know how brands work. Now you can see who is behind them, and who makes your clothes, for example. Direct and close contact with the designers or producers is a value to take into account when purchasing.
Small actions with big results
From my profession, and because I believe that small actions make a difference, this year I am adding more value to my brand and my customers.
Wool’n’Wild is a handmade accessories brand that uses locally made yarns. Beyond fashion and trends, the motto has always been making high-quality products, so you can use your Wool’n’Wild for many years and make it look like the first day.
And because even the best quality products get old over the years, I already launched the Wool’n’Wild LAB to give a ‘second life’ to your accessories. Recycle instead of buying. You can change the fringes, pompoms, or tassels of your scarves. Or repairing holes in the fabric, among other things. And therefore, being able to continue using the garments.
As the passionate person that I am, I want my brand to be even more sustainable. So I am also going to launch a 100% organic line, supporting locally made yarn, dyed by natural products, and 100% animal cruelty-free.
And what about you, are you joining the revolution?
Designer at Wool’n Wild and copywriter
Visit Cristina’s Blog here (in Spanish).
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