You may read things like ‘avoid fast fashion’ and ‘adopt slow fashion’ on social media, but what exactly does it mean? Well, fast fashion refers to cheap and trendy clothing that changes seasonally. It’s easy to see how this could cause issues once all of the thousands of garments are no longer in fashion. And yet it goes beyond landfill waste. We’re here to give you five reasons why you should stay away from fast fashion and adopt slow fashion instead.
Slow fashion reduces your carbon footprint
More people are becoming conscientious about their carbon footprint. Many are implementing meat-free days, recycling and switching to reusable coffee cups and water bottles. Yet, fashion remains an issue.
The amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the fashion industry every year is still a huge contributing factor in global warming. Not just because of the insane amount of textiles being thrown out, but also because of the issues these textiles cause when being recycled. Inexpensive items mostly made from petroleum-based fibres are difficult to break down and end up being sold at a much lower cost.
But Fast Fashion isn’t just hard to get rid of, it’s also difficult to produce. Making cheap garments from fossil fuels requires a lot more energy. Slow Fashion, on the other hand, emits fewer greenhouse gases because it uses more natural fibres. It also ends up being easier to recycle and it is better quality, so you’re able to wear it for much longer.
It saves water
Apart from using huge amounts of fossil fuels, Fast Fashion is also a leech on water resources. Using around 2700 litres of water to produce a single cotton shirt, it’s a huge waste in areas where water is already scarce. Opting for organic cotton reduces that consumption by 91%. Unfortunately, because of the higher cost involved in growing and harvesting non-GMO seeds, it’s hard to use.
There’s a solution though. Opting for materials like linen, hemp, recycled fibres, Yulex or Tencel uses little to no water during the production phase.
Slow fashion creates safer working conditions
Quick to boycott shops for using sweatshop labour back in the ‘90s, consumers have forgotten that it’s still ongoing, just branded differently. Many fast fashion brands are increasing the frequency in which they release new collections. This forces workers to keep up with insane demands whilst receiving too low pay. Sadly this happens in countries where weak labour laws certainly aren’t protecting them and the alternative is losing out on work altogether.
Slow fashion focuses on creating relationships with factory owners and the staff working to create high-quality garments.
Slow fashion can save animals lives
Just because you’re not wearing leather or fur doesn’t mean you’re not hurting them. Each time we wash garments made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon, it could shed 17million microfibres. Those are washed out into the ocean and consumed by sea life.
Not only does slow fashion eliminate this, but it also focuses on finding solutions. A few examples are brands using recycled seatbelts to create bags or producing plant-based sneakers. Some also manage to produce silk garments from yeast or a leather alternative from pineapple leaves.
It’s better quality, saving you in the future
Fast Fashion might be cheap and easy, but think about why that is. Just imagine how cheap the materials and labour must be to sell at that price and still make a profit.
Yes, you pay for sustainability, but you also pay for better quality. Investing in pieces you love now can save you a lot of money in the future.
If slow fashion brands aren’t your thing, opt for second-hand shopping. Would you take the challenge this year? Let us know in the comments below.