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Slow fashion: let’s slow down until we can finally stop the damage we are doing to our planet

Fashion world has lately been booming with phrases such as fast fashion, sustainable fashion, responsible fashion etc. With all these new fashions emerging, it’s hard to keep track of what’s good, what’s bad, what is related to the fashion industry and what refers to the buyers. This is why we have decided to clarify one key concept in our branch, and through it we can clarify the rest of them.

This concept is slow fashion.

What do you mean, slow fashion? Is it the clothes that need time to appear in stores? Is it the kind of apparel that takes a while to get to your address when you order it?

Not in a long shot. Let’s start over.

When the Earth says: That’s enough!

Slow fashion emerged as a response to fast fashion. Fast fashion is what we see every day when we step into a store – large corporations constantly releasing new collections, putting old ones on sale, people rushing to get as many items as possible at low prices. 

All this enthusiasm due to new pieces of clothing comes at a cost, and the cost is calculated in the damage that is done to the environment. Most people will wave their hands and say it can’t be as bad as it sounds.

Here are some facts that might surprise you:

  • 93% of top brands don’t ensure minimal wage for their production workers. It is a well-known fact that most fashion items are produced in developing countries such as China, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam (if not convinced, check the label on your shirt). Besides working extremely long hours, these workers receive a wage that is on the verge of survival.
  • Fashion industry is the second largest pollutant, right after the oil industry. In order for it to launch these enormous amounts of clothes on the market, fashion industry must lower the production costs. When they aren’t doing it with their workers’ wages, they save money on sustainability. The use of heavy chemicals, throwing waste into rivers, seas and oceans, as well as the use of undegradable materials are just some of the reasons.
  • Only 1% of discarded clothing is recycled. This means that about 500 billions of dollars worth of clothing ends up being thrown away every year. How so? In the UK an average person throws away 30 kilos of clothes every year, and in the USA about 37 kilos. 
  • Textile industry is responsible for 10-20% of the world’s pesticide use. These pesticides, besides being harmful on materials (and our skin), get into the soil and pollute it, along with underground waters.
  • One fifth of the world’s water pollution comes from detergents, colours and solvents that are used when making clothes.

We could go on, but we think you get the picture. Fast fashion causes a lot of damage to our planet. 

As a solution to this problem, slow fashion appeared.

Slow fashion emerged as a response to fast fashion. Fast fashion is what we see every day when we step into a store – large corporations constantly releasing new collections, putting old ones on sale, people rushing to get as many items as possible at low prices. 

Slow fashion – slow down and change the course of the future

Slow fashion is the exact opposite of everything that fast fashion represents. 

The term was coined by the author, activist and professor Kate Fletcher, who also explained its main characteristics.

Simply put, this movement chooses quality over quantity. It takes into consideration the entire process of production, sales and use of fashion items: starting with resources, ending with disposal. Its representatives will spend more money on a clothing item if it fulfils certain criteria. What kind of clothing items are these?

  • Items produced in a quality manner, which ensures they are long-lasting.
  • The workers must be treated with respect.
  • The animals are respected as well (these items aren’t made of fur, leather etc.)
  • These items are produced sustainably – sustainable materials, recycling (sustainable fashion).

Slow fashion pushed the breaks on overproduction, complicated supply chains and overuse of items that are worn only once or twice before being thrown away.

Slow fashion in real life: sustainability and morality

We will use concrete examples to explain how slow fashion works.

How many times have you bought a piece of clothing only because it was cheap? You have probably worn it once before you decided you no longer liked it. Or perhaps you wanted to wear it several times, but the quality was poor and after the second wash it practically fell apart.

Slow fashion means you will choose items that are of high quality and will last for years. For example, instead of buying five pieces of cotton shirts that will shrink and fade after the first wash, you will buy one that you’ll wear for five years.

This one shirt will be made of organic cotton, no pesticides will be used in its production, and the workers will have received fair wages. The dyes used for its wonderful red colour won’t be tossed in the nearby river. Five years from now, when this shirt will no longer be wearable, you will dispose it into the recycling bin.

How many people have you helped by this process, can you imagine?

Starting with those workers in the field, the ones in the factory, those people whose fresh water supply won’t be polluted by pesticides or detergents, and those people on whose backyard your shirt could end up due to inappropriate disposal.

The change starts with you

Popular trends set certain images into our heads, and we are led by them. This makes us believe that the more we have, the happier we will be.

The more we buy, the more we damage our planet.

But the change starts with us. Just one decision helps the bigger picture.

How do we at Caspar contribute to slow fashion?

We use biodegradable fabric dyes, and we don’t use liquid water in the printing process. Our desire to reduce waste resulted in another idea – we have decided to give individuals the opportunity to be unique. This means that they no longer need to buy what the rest of the world is buying, but they can come up with their own design which we then put onto the material or final product. The result? No mass production, just the one on order. Hope that, by doing this, we will contribute to the bigger picture that will be shown to the fashion world.

We can only imagine what the fashion industry will look like in ten years’ time if we let it know that slow fashion is our wish.

We can’t wait to see the results, but one thing is for sure: the world will become a better place because of it.

Do you want to design your own shirt or pillowcase? Check out our web shop and contact us!

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