We couldn’t help but think of Slow Fashion when Vienna, by Billy Joel went viral as an audio on social media; the lyrics “Slow down you are doing fine, You can't be everything you wanna be, Before your time” urge us to slow down.
Nowadays we could easily call ourselves the society of “the run”. We long to discover something before the others: we crave to have the most beautiful experience, try new things, and be the first to try the latest trend. This song reminds us that it’s important to take a breath– in the fashion industry we see this in the “slow fashion” movement.
What does Slow Fashion Mean?
Such expression was born on the "slow food" model, launched by a group of Italian activists in the 1980s in opposition to the spread at that time of fast food chains, such as McDonald's, to indicate a production system that respects workers' rights and the environment.
The development of this phenomenon, gaining momentum as high fashion began to put into circulation the strategy based on "see now buy now," thus consistently reducing the time between fashion shows and in-store availability of new collections. Consumers began to show an increasing sensitivity to fashion, directing their demand toward products in line with the seasonal fashions "imposed" on the catwalks and beginning to buy clothes more for their own personal pleasure than for an actual need.
During the Pre-Industrial Revolution, garments were locally sourced and produced. People would buy durable clothing that could serve them for a long time or make their own from the textiles and resources available to them. Clothing reflected the place and culture of the people wearing them.
Fortunately modern-day slow fashion has seen a re-emergence of some of these old ways. Initially, it asks us to take a step back and decide if we really need something new, or if we can shop our closet for some forgotten piece that maybe just needs a small repair. It then encourages us to buy fewer garments less often, and opt for second hand when we can.
When it comes to buying new, instead of purchasing six cheap polyester tops that will unravel after one or two wears, for example, conscious consumers invest in higher quality pieces. They will be made from more sustainable processes and fabrics that emphasize the art of clothes making and celebrate the skills of craftspeople, like one or two organic cotton or linen tops you know will last for years to come.
Finally, slow fashion asks us to stop treating our clothes as disposable, and to make an effort to repair, upcycle, pass along, or responsibly dispose of them when they no longer serve us. We don’t need to run towards new clothes every single week. We have to “slow down” and be ourselves with the clothes that we already have and buy ones that last longer.