While you’re reading this, a dump truck full of textile waste is being taken to a landfill. Mountains of old, discarded clothing are being burned, releasing toxic fumes into the air.
Such images are jarring, but they show the importance of the slow fashion movement and the need to immediately put an end to fast fashion.
But what is slow fashion?
Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion; basically, slow fashion is the movement that promotes choosing clothing that is sourced, produced, and distributed in a sustainable way instead of going to the nearest department store and buying things that are mass-produced and will only last for a short season.
There are plenty of reasons why fast fashion needs to stop; let’s look at some of the most compelling.
1. To Protect The Planet
Of course, one of the most obvious reasons to join the slow fashion movement is to help promote products and policies that protect our earth.
Slow fashion is more than just about using the right materials or slogans. Instead, it focuses on the sourcing, production, and distribution of clothing and accessories: it looks at every step along the way to making trendy items, and it maximizes Eco-friendliness and sustainability at each part of the progression.
This means that when you shop with slow fashion in mind, you can make a real difference in several different ways.
2. To Save Some Money
Slow fashion helps more than just the planet: it also helps your wallet.
When you shop for sustainable clothing and accessories, it may seem like you’re spending more at first. While slow fashion pieces are usually a bit more expensive than a fast-fashion alternative, it’s important to remember that these sustainable pieces are almost always made with sturdier designs and much more durable materials.
That means that you’ll get plenty of wear out of each and every piece, and the cost per wear goes down drastically when you consider all of the times you can rock a slow fashion outfit.
It helps to think of it as a sustainable business or investment practice: you put a bit of money up front, but you reap the benefits of the savings and ease as time goes on.
3. To Help the Local Economy
A big way that slow fashion meets its Eco-friendly goals is by minimizing the distance between the creator of a piece and the person who will ultimately be wearing it.
This means that slow fashion pieces are usually made by local designers, jewelers, and tailors.
So, when you opt for sustainable clothing and accessories, you’re also pumping into the local economy and helping people in your community.
4. To Promote Fair Labor
Another key tenet of slow fashion is making sure that those who are producing the clothing and accessories are working in fair and humane conditions.
Sweat shops and other brutal factory settings are categorically avoided by slow fashion designers and brands, and this helps to raise awareness about the unjust working conditions while also promoting practices that can make the fashion industry safer and fairer for workers at each step of the production process.
When you shop slow fashion, you can join in that movement, too.
5. To Keep a Clear Conscious
When you choose slow fashion pieces, you can feel good about your choices.
That’s because you won’t have to question whether or not the materials are sourced ethically, or if the producers were treated fairly, or if the vehicle that transported the clothing to your locale was spewing carbon dioxide into the air.
Slow fashion takes all of these things into account, so you can enjoy your clothing and accessories without any guilt about how you came by them.
6. To Reduce Waste
The biggest reason why we need to put an end to fast fashion is the immense amount of waste that it generates.
Fast fashion is always prompting us to by more and more clothing, which means that a lot of our clothes remain unworn: but that doesn’t stop us from buying more cheap, readily-available clothing from fast fashion retailers.
So, the fast fashion industry as a whole is one that promotes wastefulness and over-consumption.
Instead of buying into that inefficient culture, try expanding your horizons by enjoying Eco-friendly travel experiences or finding other ways to spend time with friends that isn’t just shopping at the nearest fast fashion department store.
7. To Protect Animals
Many fast fashion products are made from materials that don’t prioritize animals’ rights.
This could mean that the pieces are made directly from parts of the animal, or it could be that they utilize materials that have been tested on animals inhumanely.
Slow fashion, on the other hand, always keeps animals in mind.
Of course, animal products are still sometimes used in slow fashion pieces, but they’re always utilized in the most Eco-friendly and sustainable way.
8. To Save Water
As you can imagine, the whole progression of sourcing, producing, and distributing fast fashion clothing and accessories requires a lot of water at each step.
Whether it’s for growing cotton and other textile materials on commercial farms or for treating huge batches of identical chemically-processed pieces in a factory, a lot of water goes to waste at every stage.
Opting for slow fashion pieces instead can help save water and prevent excess water waste.
9. To Reduce Emissions
The fast fashion industry creates carbon emissions in many different ways, from factories polluting the air and waterways to gas-guzzling planes and trucks that are used for shipping the clothing and accessories to retailers around the world.
And even after we’ve bought them, they’re still posing a pollution threat.
These fast fashion pieces take up space in the closet until we finally decide to throw them out.
And even if we have the best intentions of recycling what we don’t wear anymore, the truth is that those materials are actually more often burned or destroyed in ways that add more harm to the environment.
10. To Feel Better
Even though it might feel good to get a new item of clothing every week or two, it’s not sustainable.
Instead of that temporary high, you can feel even better for longer when you walk away from fast fashion.
This lifestyle shift can help you reduce the anxiety associated with always having to update your wardrobe, and it can give your conscience a rest since you know that all your pieces are ethically source, produced, and distributed.
Overall, changing over to a slow fashion lifestyle can be a huge boost to your overall wellness.