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We are what we wear: a take on the slow fashion industry. 

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We are what we wear: a take on the slow fashion industry. 


We are all familiar with the phrase “ we are what we eat”, but not as much with the phrase “we are what we wear”. There has been a rising awareness in health and wellness and now more than ever, people are considerate about what they put into their bodies, but could it be time for us to start being more considerate of what we put on our bodies? There are social media influencers all around our algorithms, hyping up organic foods and natural protein supplements and how to glow up using this and this all natural remedies, all whilst wearing a fast fashion polyester garment, contradicting the statements made on the importance of living an organic and sustainable lifestyle. When it comes to our clothes, we tend to turn a blind eye to the social, environmental and economical disastrous impacts that the fast fashion industry leaves behind. We tend to approach this topic as “out of sight out of mind”. Although it is each individual’s responsibility to be educated on this topic, it is not fully society’s fault, since these issues are mostly hidden or exposed differently to us in the media. It is time for that to change and for the next leaders in the fashion industry to create transparency above all in what is behind the scenes in the world of fashion. 


So what does “slow fashion” mean?

Slow fashion is everything that fast fashion is not. It is all about the consciousness about the resources and steps needed to design and create clothes and considering them when purchasing any garment. Slow fashion and sustainable fashion falls under the same category, but slow fashion focuses more on the aspect of decreasing consumption and production. “Slow fashion” as a concept was originally invented by Kate Fletcher, who is a Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion in the University of the Arts in London. The movement quickly fell into place after the rise of the “slow food movement” (a movement that enhances the importance of the traditional, slow food creation process which includes sourcing organic and local ingredients). While fast fashion (a movement that started 20 years ago) is based on the principle of making clothes cheap, fast and trendy, slow fashion on the other hand strives for quality over quantity and to create a circular fashion economy, where emphasis is put on reusing, reducing, recycling, upcycling, etc. 


Slow fashion as a movement

Pre-Industrial Revolution, clothing pieces were automatically sourced and produced locally and passed onto generations, it served as a reflection of the area and culture a person was from. Today´s slow fashion movement includes a lot of the same principles as back in the days. It requires us to take a holistic view and choose our clothes with a lot of thought behind it, asking questions such as: “do I really need this new jacket?” or “do I need to throw this shirt away because it has a flaw or can it be repaired/upcycled?” It also motivates consumers to buy less and also less often, but buying better quality and second hand when possible. Lastly, the slow fashion movement asks us to stop throwing our clothes away but instead consider options of upcycling, repairing, passing on or taking responsibility for disposing them after initial use. Consciousness of sustainable fashion is increasing more and more as research has shown that 19% of the main fast fashion related searches are connected to sustainability and ethics. As consciousness rises, humanity and the planet is expected to benefit from it. 


As Vivienne Westwood once said

“buy less, choose well and make it last”




Hill, M. 2021. What is slow fashion? Read on 4.5.2023. https://goodonyou.eco/what-is-slow-fashion/ 


Maquis, C. 2021. What Does Slow Fashion “Actually ” Mean? Read on 1.5.2023. https://www.forbes.com/sites/christophermarquis/2021/05/14/what-does-slow-fashion-actually-mean/?sh=3997dcb073b4 


Xenya, C. 2017. Slow fashion- Food for thought? Published on 1 August 2017. Watched on 4.5.2023. https://youtu.be/KKoGpYiyJzg 


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