Why Slow Fashion?

Slowing down fashion translates into a more sustainable approach to making clothes. It means producing less while focusing on quality, longevity, and ethics.

As we have been gradually learning over the past few years, the garment industry is one of the largest carbon polluters on the planet and one of the greatest producers of waste, including toxic chemicals that permeate the environment and worker communities.

Simply put, Slow Fashion is proposing a kinder and more responsible approach, one that considers the processes and resources required to make our clothes. It means producing fewer, better things, which are designed to last and have a lower negative impact on people and the planet.

We live in a 'throw-away' culture, consuming and wasting too much, too fast.

According to UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is created each year globally, which means the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill every second.

We are simply consuming and wasting too much, and tend to do more so as the years go by. This toxic system of overproduction and consumption wears out valuable resources, pollutes the environment, and degrades ecosystems.

Slow Fashion is the opposite. It means producing (and buying) less, with an emphasis on quality and durability. The movement advocates for learning to recognize and value craftsmanship, improving spending habits, and taking better care of our goods to prolong their lifespan.

What may seem cheap clothing, comes with human rights abuses and social costs.

An estimated 60 million workers power the global garment industry. The majority work inhumane hours, sometimes in toxic, dangerous environments, without fundamental human rights. A survey conducted by Fashion Checker in 2019 shows that only 25% of the brands were using benchmarks to check if the wages being paid to the workers in their supply chains were enough to live on.

Child labour is a particular issue for the fashion industry, with children working at all stages of the supply chain: "from the production of cotton seeds in Benin, harvesting in Uzbekistan, yarn spinning in India, right through to the different phases of putting garments together in factories across Bangladesh".

Slow Fashion, on the other hand, values the fair treatment of the people who make our clothes. At She's Linen, we have been independently audited, based on the BSCI Code of Conduct developed by Amfori - the leading global business association for open and sustainable trade. The 'A' rating received stands for safe, dignified working conditions and living wages for all employees.

We simply can't afford to keep making clothes that do not consider the environment.

Toxic textile dyes, pesticides, and microfibres released by cheap, synthetic materials pollute our air, soil, rivers, and oceans. To give you just a few facts: 20% of our world's wastewater directly results from fabric dyeing and treatment. Conventional cotton is responsible for 25% of the world's pesticide use. Plastic particles washed off from products made with synthetic materials contribute up to 35% of the primary plastic that is polluting our oceans.

Given the ever-growing risks posed by the degradation of ecosystems, brands simply can't continue to make clothes that do not consider our environment. It is why we, at She's Linen, are working with fabric made of local, naturally sustainable crops that require minimal irrigation and chemical treatment. All the substances used when weaving, dyeing, or softening our linen are in compliance with the European Union's REACH regulation and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, which means they have been tested and are safe for human health and the environment.

Nevertheless, we need to be aware that each industrial process has a negative impact, and each piece of clothing has a negative impact, in one way or another. The idea is for us to consume with moderation and to choose the brands that strive for sustainability.

How can you make a difference? Embrace mindful consumption. Start with caring for the clothes you already own.

We love the Motto of Fashion Revolution, the world's largest fashion activism movement: 'Be Curious, Find Out and Do Something.'

Ask questions, read on the subject, talk to your family and friends about it. Look beneath the surface, learn to recognize and value quality. Learn to care, cultivate simplicity and moderation. And in the end, always remember the words of British designer Vivienne Westwood: "buy less, choose well, make it last."

Sources: fashionrevolution.org, unicef.org, unep.org, goodonyou.eco, fashionchecker.org, bbc.com, theguardian.com.

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