What Is Slow Fashion and How Can It Change Your Life

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Modern life can be amazing. We have all the global information on the palm of our hand, more opportunities than ever before, endless options to do whatever we want,…

Like, we can have sushi for lunch and pizza for dinner. Globalization, man…

But this constant stream of information, products and general nonsense sometimes becomes overwhelming. Don’t you think so? We need to keep up with an anxiety-inducing pace that can’t be healthy for us, let alone for our planet.

And, oh boy, when it comes to fashion. Let’s start by saying that keeping up with the dizzying pace of fast fashion is humanly impossible – we, mortals, don’t have the time or the closet space for it.

So we have this huge problem, right? We’re stuck with a fast fashion industry that doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. A fashion industry so fast that doesn’t have time to look around and see all the harm it’s causing to people all over the world, to animals and to our environment.

But fret not, because the spirits of sustainability have also brought us this wonderful thing called slow fashion.

Slow fashion is amazing for many reasons – one of them being that it can motivate us to live more intentionally, and we all need a dose of that nowadays.

But there’s more than that to slow fashion, so let’s get into it.

Timeless style vs passing trends

slow fashion outfit with a mid-lenght wool coat

Fast fashion is successful because it somehow manages to push new products into the market every.single.week.

They use flashy trends to get our attention and make us want the newest thing – these are often the outfits you see your fav celebrities and influencers wearing on your timeline.

Try to remember all the times you’ve seen a new trendy piece of clothing that you, like, literally NEEDED. Then you bought it, and one month later you realized you hated it. It felt as old-fashioned as an early 2000s bedazzled t-shirt. That’s how passing trends work.

So slow fashion is the total opposite. It focuses on timeless pieces that you can use today and in 10 years. Those basics we always need and love.

And by basics I don’t mean dull and boring clothes. No, no. Think about them as curated clothes, staples or signature pieces from conscious creators. You can see some examples of slow brands here.

If you want to know how I quit fast fashion, head over to this post.

Consciousness vs mindless consumption

I’m not here to recite the Manifesto here. But we have to relearn how to consume and leave impulsive consumption behind.

No, Margaret, buying yet another red dress is not going to fix your problems.

You must be thinking: “but who doesn’t love wearing something new for the first time”. It’s awesome, I agree. But spending our money consciously, thinking twice before doing it and just buying what we love are things with the potential to make our lives simpler and happier.

And it’s such an awesome way to practice mindfulness, don’t you agree?

Of course, we don’t need to quit shopping or adopt the perfect minimalist lifestyle. I think we can all start by rethinking our relationship with the clothes we already know and question the value they’re bringing into our life.

Something that has helped me redefine my relationship with my clothes is creating capsule wardrobes. From time to time, you can conduct little capsule wardrobe drills to help you realize the role of each piece of clothing in your life (are they useful? Do they make you happy?).

Quality vs waste

We said that timeless clothes are designed to last in such a way that if you want to keep wearing your favorite mom jeans at age 80, you should be able to.

That’s why these clothes should have some next-level quality. Nothing similar to what you buy in your go-to fast fashion store, trust me.

slow fashion sustainability quality clothing

This means quality fabrics and quality production. The materials should be good enough to keep up with the natural wear and tear and the quality of the workers’ conditions should be reflected in the craftsmanship and polished finish of the clothes.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that clothes are not disposable. This disposable fashion thing is a big no-no for slow living. Clothes are in our lives to be worn and to be loved, not to be tossed away after a couple of uses.

Your style can change, but your clothes should be a long term commitment.

Every morning, when you look at yourself in the mirror before heading out, I want you to feel excited and thankful about what you’re wearing. I want you to get rid of those “I have nothing to wear” thoughts.

Is slow fashion sustainable?

The whole slow living movement is definitely sustainable. Slow fashion is mindful and considerate towards the environment and towards people. But this slow philosophy can influence every part of your life: what you eat, how you travel, how you work,…

When you embrace it, you’re able to appreciate the connection between what you wear and the impact it has on the environment and on other living beings, and you want to honour that bond.

By becoming more selective about what you wear, shaping your own values and materializing them in what you wear becomes easier and easier.

So if you’re thinking about switching to slow fashion, consider not only a lifestyle change, but also a shift in mindset.


A few tips to ease into the slow fashion movement

  • buy mindfully
  • think about the role that the clothes that you already have play in your life
  • pay attention to your style and to what makes you happy and comfortable
  • ignore passing trends
  • build your closet around your style and quality staples that represent it
  • and don’t stress over it
what is slow fashion

2 thoughts on “What Is Slow Fashion and How Can It Change Your Life”

  1. The hardest part for me is finding stores that sell slow fashion. Expensive clothes are not always well made, how can I tell the difference? I know to look for seams (no surging), but if I’m buying online I can’t do that. Just curious for your input!

    1. Hi Emma! Thanks for your comment!
      In both cases, when I shop online and when I go to a brick and mortar store, the first thing that I do – mostly if I’m going to invest in something expensive that should last a long time – is checking online reviews from bloggers or customers of the brand. Mostly the customers’ opinions are very unbiased and they can give you an idea of the quality of the clothes and whether they’re worth it or not.
      I also like checking this website called Good on You that ranks brands according to how sustainable they are, how great the quality is,… And I can guarantee you, they’re a trustworthy source of info!
      And another thing that can give away the quality of the clothes is checking the materials on the tag. A friend of mine who is a seamstress gave me this piece of advice, but it can sometimes be tricky because quality doesn’t always come to the material, but to the way it’s treated and assembled. But usually, natural materials are crafted in a more careful way than synthetic ones. I’m actually planning a post on this exact topic, so you can stay posted – it may give you more ideas!
      From time to time I talk about this kind of fashion-related tips on my Instagram and newsletter, so you can check those out too!
      I hope I could help you with my answer <3

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