Why is slow fashion is good for the environment? How might slow fashion actually help you in launching and growing your business? What are the benefits to developing a slow fashion brand?
What is slow fashion?
The term was first coined by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion's Kate Fletcher, following the movement of 'slow' in food. The opposite - fast fashion - emerged around 20 years ago and now fast fashion brands are churning out 300+ new designs per day! Slow fashion is an approach to oppose the current speed of the industry and it is necessary to help designers and customers focus on an ethical and sustainable future for fashion.
Current society wants us to consume and we have an appetite for newness. Industry can mass produce, customers can discard things when we're finished with them and buy new things for pennies. Products have a short life expectancy, are poor quality and are designed to be on trend for a short period of time. Slow fashion considers the processes and resources involved in making the products, creating garments that are designed for longevity.
There are many benefits to building a slow fashion brand. These are wide ranging and do not only focus on the environmental benefits of slow fashion. The concept of slow fashion also allows you to
Design and develop to your own rhythm and pace
More creative freedom and fewer restrictions
Have the ability to grow & scale effectively
Time to engage with your target customer
Space to develop at your own pace
Opportunity to work ON your brand not just IN it
Have time to learn from your mistakes
Looking back to look forward
The concept of slow fashion talks to both designers and customers. Customers are demanding higher standards, transparency and more sustainable processes. In discussing the topic of slow fashion we are looking back to traditional methods, local production, small scale, bespoke options and building an emotional connection with garments. Some of the overarching benefits of slow fashion include:
Enhancing community development
Satisfying human needs
Building meaningful fashion experiences
Developing cultural diversity
Creating sustainable design methods
Supporting local economies
Steps to building a slow fashion brand
Developing and growing a slow fashion brand isn't just about the environmental benefits. The traditional fashion system is built around a strict calendar where designers are expected to showcase a full new collection every six months - squeezing in design, development and delivery in just half a year. This system barely gives designers enough time to go through the process of getting your ideas from sketch to catwalk let alone think about other aspects of your business. Slowing down provides lots of opportunities for brands.
Starting with this 5 steps might help you think about a slower approach to your brand in the future:
Use high quality materials
Research the natural fibres or sustainable synthetics you are using
Ask questions to your partners & supply chain to maintain transparency
Try to utilise local sourcing & production where possible
Build your brand around launching small collections more regularly
For more on slow fashion check out our Instagram page @rockettfashion.