When we look beyond the hem of fast fashion we often find a superficial self that is driven by image. But like slow food, slow fashion is a counteraction against the current model.
Slow fashion mirrors the shift seen in slow food, by combating the externalities of our surface desires. In fashion, the desire is to look good, and in food, it takes the form of satisfying hunger. These desires drive our indulgent tendencies, but what we should understand is both industries can still have a ”slow” process and be indulgent. Only, this slow indulgence becomes not one of immediate satisfaction but one of patience, ultimately allowing us to experience the inherent enjoyment and pleasure to be more fulfilling for our consciousness, our community (local and global), and our environment.
As it stands, fashion is the third largest industry in the world, after fuel and food, and its skin deep connotations are piggy-backed as a result of current industrial practices, but the fashion industry, whether you think of yourself as being a part of it or not, effects everyone: Everyday each one of us gets dressed, just like we eat everyday.
In the food industry, efficiency and profit driven practices take the form of intensive fertilizer and pesticide use, fast food restaurants and processed foods, resulting, as research has shown, in lack of nutrition, obesity, and aiding in the overall declining health of our society.
The fashion industry is one in the same, in that the true cost for the price of cheap is rather an extensive bill.
Overall we are emerging out of an era where the majority of us cannot grow our own food or make our own clothes, where we had to rely on industry. Traditional knowledge is reemerging and blending with the technological advances of the last century to lift us out of fast, and into slow by redefining our indulgences.
Check out Jamie Mayne’s slow textile process for a glimpse into the philosophy behind the movement.