I’m glad you asked. I use this terminology a lot to describe what I do. But what does it mean?
The antithesis of fast-fashion, the slow fashion movement has been growing at an escalating rate over the last few years. It is a shift that has arisen in reaction to the current mentality of the fashion industry, which promotes a need to always have 'the next best thing' in order to stay relevant. This has created a culture in which clothing has become an increasingly disposable commodity. A culture we’ve become accustomed to, but one that is polluting our planet and exploiting vulnerable people all over the world.
Each year, the UK alone produces 1.5 million tonnes of unwanted clothing and textile waste, as a result of the fast-fashion mode of consumption. This model revolves around the idea of providing easy access to all the latest catwalk trends, without the designer price tag. Driving costs down as much as possible results in clothing that is unbelievably cheap. But this small price tag comes at the cost of garment workers in disadvantaged parts of the world being paid a pittance to perform highly skilled work.
High-street labels have played a big part in the creation of a giant disconnect with the origin of clothing and, therefore, it's true worth.
Slow fashion advocates a more considerate attitude towards what we wear. It encourages us to take more time over our choices and be mindful of the impact those choices might have on others.
The core message of the movement, in the words of Vivienne Westword, is: “buy less, choose well, make it last".
There are a few key ways in which we can choose to advocate slow-fashion:
- choosing to only buy things we REALLY love/need
- valuing versatility over passing trends: picking items that do more for our wardrobes
- buying second-hand wherever possible
- learning to repair our existing clothes to extend their lifespan
- educating ourselves on the best ways to care for our clothing, including the appropriate wash instructions
- being prepared to spend a little more on new clothes for better quality (the expense of which can be offset by buying fewer items in general)
So, how does a clothing label stay true to this message? For pocket, my focus will be on slow production.
Traditionally, big brands don’t necessarily operate on a supply to demand basis and mostly mass-manufacture clothing, usually in overseas factories. Therefore the likelihood of producing in excess and creating waste is high. Even with the help of expert trend forecasters, extensive market research and highly experienced designers, there is always a risk that a style might not sell well.
To avoid this, offering garments on a made-to-order basis ensures that the supply matches the demand. Slowing down the production process in this way also allows for greater attention to detail and a higher quality finished piece, that will ultimately increase durability and the useable lifespan of the garment.
I want to help making the choice to buy less easy for you. By designing quality everyday wardrobe staples, you'll get classic clothing that will stand the test of time. You'll also be able to customise design features so you get a piece that is more tailored to your personal preferences.
If you’re also keen to hear about the other ways in which pocket is doing things differently, check out our Instagram or get in touch using the contact form. You can also head over to Fashion Revolution's website for more info on the slow-fashion movement globally.