Have you ever thought about where your clothes come from when you buy from large retail stores? Or who made them? Like most of us, you probably just haven't thought about it. Or maybe you just have, but you haven't been exposed to what happens in Fast Fashion practices. You're not alone, finding a new shirt that costs less than your coffee at Starbucks can seem like a great thing at the time, until you find out the true cost behind it all. So you may be thinking, what exactly is "Slow Fashion" vs "Fast Fashion." And why is it so important to the fashion industry? Keep reading as we discuss the extreme differences between the two, and how thinking more ethically could help save our people, our health and the planet.
SLAVE LABOUR VS. FAIR WAGES
The sad truth about fast fashion is the reality of slave labour. Sweat shops are still a very sad reality. Some places in the world aren't as lucky when it comes to fair labour laws. Mass producing companies all over the world exploit the workforce in order to achieve fast and cheaply made garments. Some workers are given no breaks, working hours on end for barely enough to support themselves or their families.
Slow Fashion believes in fair labour AND fair living wages for workers. Instead of unhealthy working environments, employees are to be paid for the true cost of what goes into making products by hand. Items made locally fall under local labour laws. Not to mention quality working environments and NO sweatshops!
DIRTY/POLLUTING FABRICS VS. ECO FRIENDLY MATERIALS
Fast Fashion is one of highest polluting industries in the world, aside from oil and gas. By using cheap and dirty fabric, it is causing all kinds of pollution to our environment. The toxic chemicals in these types of fabric also cause negative effects to the planet and threatens our oceans.
Slow Fashion practices believe in sourcing ethical and sustainable fabrics that won't cause havoc to people or the environment. Using materials such as bamboo-cotton, that is eco-friendly and organic.
QUANTITY VS. QUALITY
The main goal in Fast Fashion to is to produce mass amount of garments to sell for cheap. When this happens, the quality gets lost in the making and items tend to fall apart and don't last, and ending up in a landfill.
In Slow Fashion, workers take time needed to ensure quality goes into their product, and the price will reflect this. A lot of small companies who use Slow Fashion practices will often make use of leftover materials, so there is less waste. For example, Salts & West using leftover bamboo scraps and turns them into Bamboo underwear and headbands.
In conclusion, I think it goes without being said the amount of negative effects that Fast Fashion has on our planet. If we can get more people to start thinking "Slow" when it comes to fashion, we could change the way of the Fashion Industry and save our planet from pollution.
Madison Miller at Salts & West