If you aren't familiar with the terms fast fashion vs. slow fashion, here's a crash course. Educate yourself, educate others, and live a lifestyle that you can feel good about because every purchase we make is a choice; a choice between supporting those doing right by animals, people, and the planet, and those choosing the bottom line over all else.
What is fast fashion?
and why you should avoid it
You're probably familiar with companies like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. These are some of the most common examples of fast fashion labels. They dropp new styles daily, selling items for so little that they cannot afford to pay the people making their clothing a decent living wage. They've established a business model that encourages reckless spending and a superficial sense of lack. This mindset breeds an environment of overconsumption, waste, pollution, and ignorance.
If you drill down the supply chain, from the corporate executives with salaries skyrocketing into the 9 figures to the factory workers overseas who can't afford clean drinking water. It's disturbing to say the least to see the conditions, pay, and unfair treatment of these people. In order to reach such low price points with their items, the materials are almost entirely synthetic, non-biodegradable, treated with toxic chemicals, poisonous dyes, and have such low quality that they often fall apart after a few wears. But somehow, the fast fashion industry has tricked us into believing their products are worth our money because of the lower price. It's disturbing how people tend to lower their standards for a lower price.
The True Cost, a film documentary about the heartbreakingly poor working conditions of overseas garment workers, gave the public a harsh shot of reality with a tragic look inside the lives of the people making the clothes many of us live in today.
We tend to look the other way for the sake or price or convenience, or blame their financial situation for not being able to afford ethical goods, but the truth is, now days, you can find ethical versions of pretty much anything you need. It's really become all about intentional choices. And yes, oftentimes the price is a little higher, but by buying fewer, better things, it usually evens out. Instead of three sweaters from H&M that'll last 6 months, buy one quality sweater that'll last decades.
What is slow fashion?
and how to join the movement that is revolutionizing today's fashion industry
Slow fashion is just that, fashion made with more thoughtful, conscientious processes, materials, and labor. It takes time to design and product high quality, often made to order pieces that are made to last. Timeless designs, lean production models, and eco-friendly materials make up this revolutionary new way to make clothing, ultimately challenging the traditional retail model.
It all starts at design; a garment must be thoughtfully and carefully designed to withstand or adapt to seasonal trends, cheaper competition, and buyers wanting to get their hands on items immediately. Timeless, high integrity design is key to the slow fashion movement because of its longer production cycle. When it comes to sourcing the items, consideration for the environment is vital. The quality of the fabrics needs to be high enough to last a long time, and the effect that the creation of the fabrics, including their dyes and embellishments has on our environment needs to be taken into account. Other important parts of the process that need careful analysis and consideration are the skill and craft used to produce the items as well as the safety and salary of the workers.
The minimalist movement is a close friend of the slow fashion revolution due to its mantra of fewer, better things. At Joon + Co., we get to know the story behind each item we sell so that we can be confident that our products are in fact ethically made, and we make sure to pass those stories on to you. It's so important that consumers be educated in what they are buying so that they can not only feel good about purchasing an item, but be confident that the environment, workers, and animals are treated compassionately and fairly.
A quick trick I do is go to the company's about page or a product page and hit Cmd-F (or Ctrl-F on Windows), which searches the page for specific text, and type in the criteria you're looking for (sweatshop-free, vegan, Fair Trade, etc.). It'll then tell you how many times and where that phrase is mentioned on that page.
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