You've heard of Slow Food, the movement that was promoted to counter fast food.
But have you heard of Slow Fashion?
Coined in 2008 by sustainable design consultant Kate Fletcher, Slow Fashion, as described by Hazel Clark, research chair at Parsons, "is about the consumer being aware of the whole process -- from design through productions, through use and the potential to reuse."
Many brands today seem to specialize in wasteful, throwaway fashion. You know it when you see it: cheaply made clothing, flimsy, and ultra-trendy. And it's not just cheaply made: it's so cheap you're simply afraid to think about the life of the person who actually made the garment for you. It's not meant to last more than one season. And it likely won't even make it to the thrift store intact for at least a second run.
As I personally try to be more mindful of clothing choices, I have been making a point of buying high quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Luckily, my body measurements/size haven't shifted much over the years, so when I buy an item, I am looking for a timeless elegance that can carry me through several seasons. It's about not being a slave to fashion. While I am happy to be a great thrift store shopper, I do like to treat myself to some new dresses, coats, and sweaters, that I know will last more than just a couple of seasons, from my favorite brands.
One of my favorite slow fashion brands is Gudrun Sjödén. This is a company that was green before the expression was even coined. As the company founder - Gudrun Sjödén herself - explains, clothing design with a long lifespan is the key element behind the slow fashion movement:
"We think about the environment in everything we do...
Design with a long lifespan – I think this is my most important contribution to a greener, more wonderful world! It has been one of my guiding principles over all these years. My basic belief is that the first priority in minimising negative impact on the environment is not to use so much. I believe that hardwearing clothes in timeless designs that you can wear until they are worn out have the least environmental impact. That's how I myself want to live and work. As a company we can exert a great deal of influence over these matters. For this reason I have tried to give as much consideration to the environment as possible in production as well as our internal environment. Eco-jersey from Greece is just such an example, where the supplier has converted machinery and the cotton grower has swapped his crops, in a process that takes three years to complete. Other examples include our standards on the use of chemicals. Using chlorine-free paper for all our printed material, reducing the amount of plastic and packaging we use, and opting to ship our clothing deliveries by sea in preference to air or road transport are all our conscious environmental choices…"
Here are three cozy, eco-friendly pieces from Gudrun Sjödén, perfect additions to a slow-focused fall wardrobe:
Natty little cardigan knit in a flattering bolero style. Deep scoop neck ornamented with small metal buttons in front and hand-crocheted edges. Don't miss the beautifully embroidered hen on the inside back neck.
Warm and wonderful woolen shawl with a decorative bordering pattern print. Square form with a simple little fringe edge finish.
Abundantly patterned poncho in a short design. Just the thing to wear over a long-sleeved top, a dress, as a sozy shawl or why not the standard way - over the bulky sweater or jacket?
You can read more about our ongoing environmental efforts in Gudrun's World.