In our world of speed and convenience, more and more people are seeking out something slow. Most of us are probably aware that our culture values being busy – work takes up more and more time in peoples' lives, kids are expected to be enrolled in a million activities and constantly pushed to excel. And to fit in with our busy lives, many things have lost quality in the pursuit of quantity and convenience.
Everyone has heard of fast food, but what about fast fashion? Fast fashion is a trend that has recently risen to move designs quickly from catwalk to store in order to keep up with current fashion trends. These trends are both designed and manufactured cheaply to allow the consumer to keep up with current trends. Fast fashion has become popular because it is inexpensive and accessible. However, it doesn't escape criticism – the Slow Fashion movement has popped up in response to Fast Fashion. It brings attention to Fast Fashion's lack of sustainability and dismissal of classic style in favour of brief trends. Fast Fashion contributes to environmental damage through their use of synthetic fabrics, long shipping distances, and often does not treat their workers fairly. To combat this, the Slow Fashion movement has developed a series of values by which the it conducts itself:
1. Seeing the big picture: recognizing the impact of our actions and choices on the environment and other people.
2. Slowing down consumption: decreasing the rate of fashion production and thereby our use of the earth's natural materials so that its natural rhythms of regeneration can take place.
3. Diversity: ecological, social, and cultural.
4. Respecting people: securing the fair treatment of workers and supporting local communities.
5. Acknowledging human needs: designers offer fashion that holds emotional significance and invite the customer to be part of the design process.
6. Building relationships: building relationships between producers and consumers is a key part of the movement.
7. Resourcefulness: focusing on local materials and resources and promoting the development of local businesses.
8. Maintaining quality and beauty: encouraging classic style over passing trends and using high quality fabrics to ensure the longevity of the garments.
9. Profitability: Slow Fashion designers often need to have higher prices to sustain profits and remain visible in a competitive market. Higher prices incorporate sustainable resources and higher wages.
10. Practicing consciousness: people in the Slow Fashion movement love what they do and aspire to make a difference in the world through their creativity.
Luvly in Lunenburg is a store that fits in with these values. When you wear a piece of clothing made in Canada by Canadian designers, you wearing a work of art that's been carefully and creatively produced by a designer. By populating the world with slow fashion, maybe we can make change a little bit at a time.
Slow Fashion manifesto: http://www.notjustalabel.com/editorial/the_slow_fashion_movement