Slow Fashion: Quality versus Quantity

Slow Fashion: Quality versus Quantity

The term “slow fashion” was coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007 (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UK).

“Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum.”

Slow Fashion provides an alternative to mass-produced clothing. Initially, the Slow Clothing Movement was intended to reject all mass-produced clothing, referring only to clothing made by hand, but has broadened to include many interpretations and is practiced in various ways.

Some examples of slow fashion practices include:

  • Opposing and boycotting mass-produced fashion
  • Choosing artisan products to support smaller businesses, fair trade and locally-made clothes.
  • Buying secondhand or vintage clothing and donating unwanted garments.
  • Choosing clothing made with sustainable, ethically-made or recycled fabrics.
  • Choosing quality garments that will last longer, transcend trends (a “classic” style), and be repairable.
  • Doing it yourself – making, mending, customizing, altering, and up-cycling your own clothing.
  • Slowing the rate of fashion consumption: buying fewer clothes less often.
Printed scarf modelled

It encourages education about the garment industry’s connection and impact on the environment and depleting resources, slowing of the supply chain to reduce the number of trends and seasons, to encourage quality production, and return greater value to garments removing the image of disposability of fashion. A key phrase repeatedly heard in reference to Slow Fashion is “quality over quantity”. This phrase is used to summarize the basic principles of slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer. ‘Slow cloth’ allows time to design and create excellent fabrics and wearables from high quality textiles. The hand and character of each maker is revealed in each original design.

ArtWEAR Network epitomizes the essence of the slow cloth movement. All the items are designed and made by our members. The extraordinary work of these textile artists provide an alternative to the typical “fast fashion” system of overconsuming inexpensive clothing for the sake of dressing in the season’s latest trends. These are pieces the wearer will love and cherish indefinitely. These clothing designs are definitely art pieces, but they are also completely wearable.

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