Slow fashion, inspired by the Italian slow food movement, claims that “one way to initiate slow fashion is to develop personal style”. If the consumer follows a personal style, s/he is free of the dictates of fast fashion. Slow fashion encourages a change in the system of manufacture and distribution towards slower production cycles and reduced material through- put Fletcher & Grose, 2012). Slow fashion benefits from local craftsmanship, high quality and locally produced garments, which will be kept and loved by their owners for years. The uniqueness through traditional manufacturing is in focus and this defends their mass production (Fletcher & Grose, 2012).
For instance, Alabama Chanin, an Italian fashion designer, uses traditional embroidery and local labor and resources in her collection. These garments benefit from the handmade, original technique that develops each piece’s sense of place and belonging. The owning of a locally produced, handmade piece is likely to instill a special meaning in the garment and emotional bonding with it (Fletcher & Grose, 2012). Slow Fashion is not the typical seasonal fashion trend, it is a movement that is steadily gaining momentum and is likely here to stay. Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalized, mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail or in only a few weeks. With retailers selling the latest fashion trends at very low prices, consumers are easily swayed to purchase more than they need. But this overconsumption comes with a hidden price tag, and it is the environment and workers in the supply chain that pays.
Slow Fashion represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one united movement. It was coined by Kate Fletcher, from the center of sustainable fashion, when fashion was compared to the Slow Food experience. Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slowness”, says that the ‘slow approach’ intervenes as a revolutionary process in the contemporary world because it encourages taking the time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment.
The fashion movement of designing, creating and buying garments for quality & longevity. Slow Fashion encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints and (ideally) zero waste. For Slow Fashion to emerge as a sustainable fashion model, a team of three researchers from the Master’s in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability program in Sweden has recommended that “Slow Fashion Values” be used to guide the entire supply chain. They looked closely at the positive actions that were happening and also turned to the food, design and agriculture industries for inspiration.
The values are not meant to be one-size fits all solution, but they can encourage creativity and be adapted. They are intended to spark a conversation with designers, manufacturers, retailers, and others in the Slow Fashion movement about who they are, where they are going and how their actions can have a greater impact.