The term Slow Fashion relates to multiple approaches to purchasing or owning clothing and fashion such as: rejecting the Fast Fashion industry (mass-produced clothing), purchasing Fair Trade and locally made products, buying second hand or vintage garments, choosing ethically made clothing or with sustainable fabrics, choosing garments that will last longer and are of higher quality, DIY fashion and buying fewer clothes less often to slow the rate of fashion consumption.
Fast Fashion is a description of most modern high street approaches to fashion. It describes the speed of transferring trends as quickly as possible from the catwalks to the high street stores. The speed of changing trends leads to the need to produce lots of garments quickly and cheaply. It inevitably leads to a mass-production of garments and a wasteful attitude to fashion consumption as items are neglected as soon as new ones come in to the store. The Fast Fashion industry has been connected to using factories with bad working conditions for workers and choosing cheap and un-sustainable fabrics that can cause damage to the environment. The quality of garments is reduced as the retailers compete with lower prices to appeal to mainstream consumers.
Sustainable Fashion / Eco Fashion / Ethical Fashion
Sustainable fashion, also know as eco fashion or ethical fashion, is part of the growing trend for sustainability and sustainable design. It is a process in which considerations for ethical and environmental impacts are made in order to reduce the potential impact on the planet and other human beings from creating and manufacturing a product. The goal of sustainable fashion is to be a part of a system that can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism and social responsibility. Sustainable fashion aims to produce garments using fabrics that are sourced sustainably, produced within an ethical process and will last thanks to a higher quality. The entire cycle of a garment from its design to potential uses and lifespan is considered to fulfil a sustainable approach in order for it to be classified as sustainable fashion.
A conscious consumer is someone who is aware of the negative effects of purchasing items that are not produced sustainably or ethically. For this reason they choose to purchase items that adhere to certain guidelines of sustainability and avoid contributing to mass production and wasteful or harmful manufacture processes.
Fair Trade / Fairtrade Certified
Fair Trade is an organised social movement started with the intention of unifying and moderating sustainable and ethical manufacturing. Their main goal is to help developing countries to achieve better trading conditions and adopt sustainable processes. Fair Trade relates mostly to commodities and their export to other countries for trading. These are typically produced in developing countries such as Africa, Brazil and India and shipped for consumption in domestic markets. The commodities can be either food or base fabrics such as, coffee, tea, sugar, cotton and precious metals. In reference to fashion, for a garment or a fabric to be Fairtrade Certified it must meet certain criteria in its production and trading costs. The production of the fabric must involve fair pay for workers, be harvested and produced in a sustainable manner and be given a fair trading price. This does result in many Fair Trade products having a slightly higher price but the extra cost goes back to support the workers and countries of its origin.
Fashion and clothing that fit a timeless appeal and style. They do not follow trends but are transcendent of seasons. These are garments that with last longer and save money for the customers due to the classic design and attractive style.
Small Scale Production
By reducing the amount of garments produced in each line the retailer is ensuring the garments produced are worn and not discard, or wasted. The aim of small scale production is to fit demand and not waste resources with mass-production. It also ensures the garments are unique for the wearer and wont be seen repeatedly on other people.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
GOTS is the standard by which fabrics and textiles are approved of being made from organic fibres. Only textiles made of at least 70% organic fibres can be granted as GOTS certified.
A Carbon Footprint is the quantity measure of greenhouse gases that a human emits directly or indirectly through its actions. This includes manufacturing processes, transport, purchases of items that in manufacture have produced greenhouse gasses and the in take of food and amenity sources.
Environmentally Friendly / Eco friendly / Green
The term ‘environmentally friendly’ relates to goods and services that inflict little or no harm to ecosystems or the environment.
Environmentally friendly fabrics
Environmentally friendly fabrics are produced from sustainably grown crops and also use processes that reduce the carbon footprint during its manufacture.
To be recycled means that a material has been re-used for another purpose. This does not mean that its origin was of a sustainable or an organic form. However, re-using that material again is considered more environmentally friendly than manufacturing it again for the same purpose.
Another form of recycling, however up-cycling involved re-using a material that is purposeless or waste and re-purposing it for a material of a higher quality and better environmental value. For example, using waste plastics to create a fabric to be used for furniture of clothing.
Organic relates to any produce made from an organic form that does not allow the use of pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified seeds.
OE certified cotton
OE standards are the benchmark for quality assurance of organic cotton and certifies that the content of the cotton fabric has come from an organic cotton source.
Lyocell / Tencel
Tencel is a natural man made fibre also referred to a Lyocell. Tencel is made from wool pulp from sustainable tree farms. The production process is based on s closed loop solvent spinning that recovers or decomposes all solvents and emissions. Tencel has been budded the fabric of the future thanks to its eco-friendly and economical production process.
Up-cycled leather is leather goods that are repurposed. Parts or the entirety of the old leather product can be used again for another purpose reducing the need to produce fresh leather pelts.
Natural dyes are coloured compounds that are sourced from natural resources. No chemical additives are needed to create the coloured dyes.
Dyes (low impact)
Low-impact dyes are dyes that have been classified as eco-friendly. Generally speaking this means they contain not harmful toxins or mordants and requires less rinsing and have a high absorption rate which reduces the amount of water waste.
Water based inks
Water based inks are used for screen-printing. They do not contain PVC and phthalates that can be harmful to the environment and those working with them. Water based inks do not require solvents to clean printing screens as they residue can be removed with water.