I’ve always thought there were too many fashion seasons, but I’ll make an exception for Slow Fashion Season! This is a new campaign where anyone and everyone can join in. All you have to do is commit to making more conscious fashion choices!
My hope is that we can wave goodbye to the 52 weekly fast fashion seasons, and even the four traditional seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter… Because I want it to be Slow Fashion Season forever! If you want to join in, get started by making your pledge, and read on for more tips on how to make conscious fashion choices…
(Oh and by the way: even if you’re a seasoned slow fashion fanatic, you can join in too!)
When Is Slow Fashion Season?
The Slow Fashion Season takes place from June 21st to September 21st each year. The main aim of this three-month-long season is to encourage more conscious fashion choices, which can be anything from mending garments through to shopping second-hand.
Amazingly, I hadn’t heard of Slow Fashion Season until this year, but apparently it took place last year too! It was created by CollAction, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages people to ‘crowdact’ to fix larger problems that would be impossible to change as a sole individual. In this case, the problem is fast fashion.
What’s Wrong With Fast Fashion?
Put simply, the problem with fast fashion is that it harms people and planet. ‘Fast fashion’ is a loose term that describes any form of fashion that is produced at high speeds and low cost. This combination simply doesn’t allow for good business ethics, fair treatment of workers, or investment in sustainable materials, as all of these take time and money to implement.
In my summary of the Fixing Fashion Report (and its rejection from Parliament last year), I noted some of the following issues with fast fashion:
- Fast fashion does not treat people fairly, or legally, even in the UK
- It is not transparent about its anti-slavery practices or approach to respecting human rights
- Brands do not trace where they get their materials or labour from
- Fast fashion does not pay for, or join, sustainable clothing schemes
- Brands do not take responsibility for the social and environmental cost of clothes
- Fast fashion does not design or create clothes that are made to last
However, as individual shoppers, we can’t shop our way out of fast fashion. Sure, we can stop buying it for ourselves, and stop supporting fast fashion brands. But we must also demand better regulation from our governments, better business practices in all countries, and better environmental and social standards in the fashion industry.
How Join In With Slow Fashion Season (Now and Beyond!)
To join in with this year’s Slow Fashion Season challenge, all you need to do is pledge to make conscious fashion choices. This means you’re free to enjoy slow fashion as that suits you – and boy, there are loads of ways to do just that!
14 Ways to Make More Conscious Fashion Choices
Here’s a few ways to get you started with slow fashion, for the season and beyond:
- Stop buying fast fashion
- Reduce how many new clothes you buy
- Wear your clothes more than the (shockingly low) average of eight times
- Avoid products with pre-made rips and tears, or anything clearly poorly made or damaged
- Buy second-hand clothing from charity shops, thrift shops, auction sites, or resales apps
- Shop for vintage fashion, and any other fashion that’s already in circulation (to reduce the demand for new labour and materials)
- Swap clothes with friends or family
- Care for clothes you already own
- Learn how to fix or mend your clothes, or pay for someone else to fix, mend, and alter them for you
- Try customising your clothes or re-inventing your style with existing pieces
- When buying new, look for garments made from sustainable fabrics, deadstock materials, or recycled fibres
- Diversify where you shop – support black-owned sustainable fashion brands for example
- Support sustainable, local, independent designers and labels
- Resell or donate clothes you no longer want, and keep them in rotation at the highest level of value (i.e. as clothes, rather than scrap materials)
9 Ways to Support A More Sustainable Fashion Industry
And if you wish to increase your impact, try:
- Watch documentaries like The True Cost, or Riverblue to learn more about the global impacts of the fashion industry
- Call for more transparency in the fashion industry
- Join the Fashion Revolution and support it from home
- Ask fast fashion brands #WhoMadeMyClothes
- Sign Remake Our World’s petition to get big brands to pay their garment workers
- Write to your local MP or policy maker about improving fashion in your local area, or for a second Fixing Fashion Report
- Share your slow fashion style on social media or start a blog, vlog, podcast, etc. (and join Ethical Influencers!)
- Hold your own clothes swap with friends or family (when it’s safe to do so)
- Take Fashion Revolution’s online course to understand more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how they affect fashion
While it may feel like we can’t beat fast fashion as individuals, we can certainly help. And if you were wondering, my outfit here is slow fashion-approved:
And of course, if you have any other ideas, please let me know in the comments! Happy Slow Fashion Season!