Slow Fashion: so much more than a seasonal trend
The days of blink and you’ll miss it trends dominating the design industry are long gone. Today, slow is chic, and its momentum is just beginning. But what exactly is Slow Fashion? What is the secret to its popularity? And what makes it so…well, fashionable? You’ll find out here.
Ever since fashion design began to rise as a mainstream industry, speed was established as the norm.
Every season, designer stores needed new collections, colors and materials to seduce new customers into their products.
This frenzy of “mass production for mass consumption” was responsible for the rise of fashion mega brands: Gucci, Dolce & Gabanna or Armani soon became household names worldwide, especially during the 90’, when designers and super models were at the same level of fame – and fortune- as rock stars or Hollywood actors.
In 1998, Gucci was awarded as “european company of the year” by the European Business Press Association. It was the first time a fashion house was distinguished with this honor.
Mainstream fashion, as the world knew it, had reached its peak, and that could only mean one thing…
…Everything was about to go downhill from there.
Entering into the 2000’, stories about fashion companies abusing their working force in 3rd world countries – we’ve all heard how Nike makes their sneakers, haven’t we? – as well as environmental recklesness began to appear.
This was a huge blow to fashion houses’ corporate image, and it made many people – in and out of the industry- realize that this fast and furious approach to fashion had to stop…or at least, slow down dramatically.
And so it did.
DRESS SLOW AND SUSTAINABLE
Last october, during a Gucci fashion show in Milan, one the lead designers of the brand, Alessandro Michele, gave a speech in which he implored young designers and customers alike to:
“Resist the speed that violently leads to losing oneself. The Fashion industry needs to resist the illusion of something new at any cost”
This was a very powerful message to the fashion world, especially coming from one of its biggest brands, and a mantra that many designers, brands and stores – both big and small- are adopting.
But Slow fashion was not Michele’s or Gucci’s invention.
The concept was first introduced to the industry in 2007 as a way to mirror itself to the “Slow Food” movement, a new way of eating that consisted of consuming only good quality products that are friendly to the environment, and that can be purchased at an affordable price.
Young designers and small clothing companies took some of this “Slow food” movement’s principles and adapted them to create a new philosophy, tailor-made for their industry.
Some of the Slow Fashion movement main commandments are:
- Buying and re-using vintage clothes
- Re-designing old clothes
- Shopping from smaller Producers(just as we do at Aymara Textiles!)
- Buying Garments that last longer...and if they're recyclable, even better!
And above everything else: prioritizing a quality manufacturing process.
SLOW FASHION: TAILOR-MADE TO LAST
One of the main ideas in the Slow Fashion philosophy is that clothes should be made to last. And that can only be attained if the production process includes top quality workforce and better materials.
This movement also stresses the importance of learning from ancient crafts of producing garments – something we know a thing or two about 😉- as they were more eco-friendly and oriented to save materials and last for years…and not to become disposable, trendy waste every year.
Another top priority for Slow fashionists worldwide is the transparency of the production process.
As society is taking more responsability toward the environment and the conservation of old traditions, fashion customers are demanding information about what materials are being used in the clothes they are buying, who is producing them and what are the work conditions of the people behind the process.
DRESS EMPATHICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED
But creating concience about a sustainable way to produce fashion is not the only thing that makes Slow fashion chic.
In addition to their environmental advantages, young designers and stores that have adopted this “Slow fashion” mantra have begun to appreciate traditional craftmanship techniques from indigenous tribes and local cultures all over the world.
“When garments are made with time, passion and dedication, people become emotionally connected to them”
Nordic Textiles Journal, University of Boras, Sweden
It’s a concept as old as time, but with a new, innovative perspective when applied to the fashion industry.
When people know that the clothes or accessories they wear took time and effort to be produced, they value them, they are willing to pay for them, and willing to keep them forever.
There’s also something to be said about the cultural connection between the craft and the customer. Kristii Kusk, from the Nordic Textile Journal, explains it beautifully:
“When garments and their crafting process culturally resonate with you, that product becomes a very valuable posession to you, because it inspires you, it takes you back to your roots. That’s priceless, because then it’s no longer just a piece of clothing, it becomes an experience in itself”.
With clear environmental advantages, a production process that is friendly to workers and a final product that emotionally and culturally resonates with the customers, Slow Fashion is becoming the main fashion philosophy of the decade.
And the best thing is: you can be a part of it! No matter what kind of clothing or accesories you wear, if you choose to support young designers, stores and brands that work this way in your community, you will play a big role in ensuring that Slow fashion doesn’t fade away quickly.
YOU CAN CONNECT WITH ONE OF THE MOST ANCIENT FORMS OF TEXTILE CRAFTMANSHIP TODAY!
Not that we want you to know more about us or anything…but, have you checked our store yet?
All our products are 100% handwoven by Aymara and Qechua communities in the Andean region of South America.
Our textiles are made are of organic wool of these communities’ own sheeps, alpacas and llamas, coloured with andean flowers and 100% chemical-free.
We have rugs, bags, scarves and ponchos waiting for you at the Aymara Textiles online shop. (shipping available worldwide)
Dress slow, sustainable and chic with us! Wear the ancient culture of the Andes today!