Our Pick for Best Slow Fashion Blogs
Sustainable Fashion | Slow Fashion | Ethical Fashion
- I have ended up repairing my fast fashion clothes
- Washing my fast fashion clothes less
- Washing them by hand
- Donating my fast fashion clothes to resale community thrift stores so they can have a second life. (I have personally worked at a Community Thrift Store as a fashion consultant and know how they work and resell)
- Reselling them on websites like Poshmark, facebook market place, mercari, The Real real, Threadup and many more
This is in contrast to many other sustainable fashion websites, who tend to copy-paste marketing copy into posts promoting brands, and take promotional claims at face value. Not us. We investigate, research, ask questions, fact check, and quite often inform brands that some of their marketing copy is in fact incorrect or misleading. But the truth is, it would be expensive, time-consuming, and ultimately impossible without a significant amount of outside funding to do the detailed digging and questioning that it would take to be 100% confident of our decision for every single fashion brand that we potentially want to link to. And we don’t want to redo work that someone else is already doing and doing well. So, when deciding whether to feature or link to a brand, we start with two of the most comprehensive and reliable resources out there: Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index and Good on You.
The Transparency Index is a report from a well-regarded non-profit which simply measures how much information a large brand has shared on its efforts to be more sustainable and ethical. It doesn’t mean that a company is sustainable or ethical. But if a brand is highly ranked as transparent, you can be sure that almost any skeletons in its closet have been rooted out by activists and watchdogs. We don’t trust or include companies that are ranked low on transparency by Fashion Revolution. It either means they are hiding something, or they think the whole conversation around sustainability and ethics is beneath them. Either way, it’s not a good look. The Transparency index only ranks large global companies, however, with revenue in the hundreds of millions."Ecocult was founded by Alden Wicker and is based in New York, USA.
To me, sustainable fashion is the umbrella term for all of these other ones listed below. They all play a part in sustainable fashion, but on their own, don’t carry as much weight.
Slow Fashion: We used to have 4 seasons in the fashion industry, we now have 52. Every week, sometimes in the matter of days, fast fashion brands are able to turn over a new collection - a BIG collection. It’s rather insane how quickly it can happen. Slow fashion can be seen a lot with capsule brands and other brands practicing sustainability. They focus more on quality over quantity, and timeless pieces that will never go out of style.
Eco Fashion: This type of fashion is focused solely on the environment, and aims to keep their carbon footprint as minimal as possible.
Circular Fashion: I love this concept because it is full circle. From production to end life, these garments retain value for as long as possible before returning safely back to the planet. It involves a lot of upcycling and recycling, as well as mending and repair, to lessen our use of raw materials.
Zero-Waste Fashion: With the gross amount of waste created in the fashion industry, not to mention the piles of unworn thrown away clothes we are sitting on, brands are becoming more aware of their left overs and are using fabrics which already exist. Zero-waste fashion can be practiced a few different ways. 1. Your production can create minimal waste with pattern cutting and its scraps used for different projects. 2. Fabrics and notions are pulled from discarded materials and clothing. Some brands will make sure every part of their business is zero-waste, which is difficult yet amazing!
Ethical Fashion: This term is typically in reference to the way workers are treated. Does the brand pay the manufacturer fairly? Is the farmer growing the cotton treated fairly, as well? Depending on your values, there will be different things you look for when shopping ethically. For example, if you are vegan, you would make sure the product did not contain any animal products.
Regenerative Fashion: Probably the most important term of all of these given our current worldly state. It is said we have about 60 years left of top soil, which is vital in feeding this planet. If we do not work to transform farming into regenerative practices, we won’t be able to grow anything later on. There are a few brands who are now working with regenerative farms to create fabric, and hopefully many more will follow suit.
There are so many different ways you can be involved with sustainable fashion. A lot of the time, you probably already are doing something fashion positive without even knowing it!
Sustainable Brands: You came to the right place to find all the sustainable brands to check out. While I definitely don’t want you to do any unnecessary spending, if you feel like you really want to add something new to your closet, these brands are a great way to support a better fashion industry. They aren’t perfect, but they are trying their best to make the industry more fair while taking care of our beautiful planet.
Thrifting: Some of us are lucky to have great thrift and consignment stores in our backyards. If you have the ability to find what you are looking for, I highly recommend doing so! It’s wonderful to keep reloving a garment for as long as we can. We do this for almost all of Elliott’s clothing.
Pieces You Intend to Love for Years: Sometimes what you’re looking for can’t be found at a sustainable brand or thrift store, and it’s perfectly okay to purchase a garment you know will be in your closet for many many years. It may not be made in the fabric you would prefer, or the brand may not be super transparent, but in terms of longevity and value, it holds a lot of weight.
Your Own Closet: Every few months, I do a big try on and play with what I have. I end up falling in love all over again. Before getting rid of something, I suggest to keep it on hand for a bit longer. If it’s a simple tear or in need of a button, take a day to do some mending. You can even start up a clothing swap with some of your besties."
I do believe that I can participate in slow fashion and be just as stylish and expressive as my heart desires. True style doesn’t come from the number of items in our closet.
Going forward, my closet strategies may look a little different than the last year of awesome capsules. As I continue on this style journey I think it’s important for me to continue to keep some parameters on my wardrobe so my efforts don’t get too derailed, but I anticipate my formulas might be different. Looking toward the fall, the slow fashion approach means I am only going to add three items to my closet for the coming season. I am going to try and make each of those purchases count and be something I truly want. I am literally going to take it slowly.
I still have a lot of fast-fashion items in my closet that I’ve purchased over the years, but I am not going to run out and dump them at Goodwill. In fact, I am not even going to feel bad about owning them or wearing them. Most of them were purchased at a time when I simply wasn’t aware or didn’t devote the mental energy to care. Though my mindset has changed, and some of them I might not purchase today, the best thing now is to make sure my items live long, useful lives.
I’d like to hear some of your thoughts on slow fashion. Do countries of origin or manufacturing practices influence your buying choices?" Founded by Andrea Hartman and based in Portland, Oregon, USA
You may find items in your wardrobe that need fixing. Choose to mend instead of toss the items that are torn, have a broken zip or don't fit right. It used to be the norm. However, now its way too convenient to toss than repair considering how easy and affordable it is to replace an item these days."
The Green Hub | Fashion
The Green Hub is an Australian sustainable fashion and lifestyle blog, directory, and digital magazine. As per the website- "We share brands, research, guides, and practical tips to help empower you to make lifestyle choices which are kinder to people and the planet."
The founder Kira says- "I remember when I first began my ‘eco journey’, I brought a Keepcup, started using eco-friendly cleaning products and signed a few petitions to save the oceans and ban coal mines. I gave myself a little pat on the back for being an awesome ‘greenie’ and thought I’d nailed this sustainable living thing.
Then I discovered most of my clothes were made in sweatshops, my beauty cupboard was full of products tested on animals and my love of plastic bags was destroying the planet.
It was a real “for fucks sake!” moment. Here I was doing the ‘right’ thing and it still wasn’t enough. I still feel that way sometimes. It’s not always easy to ‘go green’ and you will fumble and falter and have you’re own FFS moments as well.
But we’re here to help.
Just like everything that falls under the sustainable living umbrella: there is no black and white.
I know sustainable fashion activists who believe second-hand clothing is THE ONLY way to consume clothes responsibly. I also know well respected sustainable fashion advocates who only buy second hand if it’s ethically made, and avoid purchasing second-hand fast fashion as religiously as they avoid it brand new.
ETHICAL VS PRELOVED?
Personally, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.
We all have different values; the way we consume will always look different to the person shopping next to us.
THE PERSPECTIVE OF AN ETHICAL FASHION ADVOCATE
Purchasing new garments that are made in fair working conditions, from sustainable materials and designed with longevity in mind, is the most responsible way to consume clothes.
The benefits include:
- Encouraging a company with excellent values to continue
- Creating opportunities for more jobs in the ethical fashion industry
- Supporting the demand for ethical fashion and therefore reducing the demand for fast fashion
- Confidence that the garment is safe to wear on your skin
- The garment will not leach micro plastics into the water ways
- At the end of its life, the garment can be composted
- Often supporting individuals who would otherwise have unsafe and unpleasant jobs or no work at all
- Having a greater connection with your garment, and therefore repairing and caring for it properly
- Greater accessibility for those who need particular sizes, tailoring, or trims (e.g. those with arthritis may need garments without zips)
- Absolute joy from knowing who made your clothes
To top it off, a brand new item will most likely last longer than a second hand one, and sometimes they come with the promise of repair schemes too.
Purchasing ethical fashion pushes the fashion industry in the right direction. Society will never exclusively shop second hand, some people just don’t like it! So, it’s paramount that we continue buying brand new ethical fashion items to support an industry that respects people and planet."
Sustainable Fashion Matterz
The woman behind The Sustainable Fashion Matterz is Cherie Birkner, she is based in Berlin, Germany. Some insightful advice from Sustainable Fashion Matterz-
Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as being 100% sustainable with fashion.
The first reason being: washing clothes infuses nature with microfibers. It also takes a toll on the environment through the use of water, electricity, and most laundry detergent is not eco-friendly. Here you can find a list of some green laundry detergents.
There are, however, many different ways of approaching the topic that you can learn from to become more sustainable and decide where you stand.
Before we get started on all the different aspects there are to consider as a consumer, we want to address that there are two perspectives: that of brands and that of consumers.
FOR YOU/ CONSUMERS this means thinking about what you buy, knowing which philosophies you are supporting through your purchases, and also asking yourself if you are really going to wear that new piece to the extent that it was worth being made.
+ To start off with great(!) and probably the most sustainable solution because you are not only giving the pieces you get a new life, but also the ones you give away = double the save from landfill.
– Takes time to organize, but check facebook for groups “clothes swap”/"Kleidertausch" or try out one of the apps on the market.
NOTE: If you plan a private swapping event do a size check with the other participants, so you don't end up bringing all of your size 5 shoes when the rest of the spice girls wear 7. ;)
+ Another super sustainable solution because the pieces already exist, so you are saving the entire negative impact of production.
– The downside: buying second hand can give unconscious consumers who sell their clothes less incentive to think about their purchases, which fuels more fast fashion consumption.
NOTE: Buying high quality second hand or vintage pieces is the best way to go, if your budget allows it.
+ Environmentally friendly by producing fewer new items.
– If you really want to find a con here's one: slow fashion means sticking with what you have for a long time, so this can get difficult to practice when your tastes change.
NOTE: Quality is key here, take the time to really think about if the pieces suit your style and you can see yourself wearing them for a long time. It's best to start with basics. When something breaks, check to see how you can get it repaired before you toss it.
+ Ensuring fair wages supports education and directly improves worker's quality of life. If everyone had a living wage* we would see more happiness in the world = less conflict + more love & peace.
– Certifications can be misleading and mean different things than one might expect. Want to know more? Scroll down to the certifications link.
NOTE: Many smaller brands cannot afford certifications, so if they are not there this isn't necessarily bad news. Look on their website to see what they say in their philosophy/codex/about page, check out their social media channels, and last of all ASK the brands about it. If you don't get an answer, it's probably a bad sign.
+ Environmentally friendly because it reduces the negative environmental impact caused by animals.
+ You prevent animals from dying or suffering for your clothes.
– Some brands will use plastic or other non biodegradable fibers as a replacement to animal based products. Unfortunately, these materials often end up in landfills after a short amount of time. This directly contributes to eco-pollution.
NOTE: Look for innovative materials like pinatex, lenzing tencel, cork, seacell, mycoworks (mushroom skin) and brands that use recycled materials.
+ Minimize your carbon footprint! Garment transport puts out a huge amount of C02, which can be reduced by minimizing the distances during production.
– If you want to have a positive impact on working conditions in developing countries, your cant do that from a distance.
NOTE: A tag that says 'made in Germany' does not necessarily mean that the entire garment was made in Germany. If you're unsure - just ASK. Brands that are sustainable are generally expressive about their production methods.
+ Having as little as possible = less consumption.
– If you are someone who likes to change styles and experiment around with new outfits you might get bored of this, leading to that yoyo-effect, only with clothes.
NOTE: Do it right: just discarding whatever you don't essentially need will not lead to a more sustainable closet. Consider keeping that second pair of sneakers and wearing them out. This buys you twice as much time until you will need a new pair.
+ Saves us from pesticides.
+ Is better for the health and land of the farmers, and also protects wildlife.
– Even organic cotton needs huge amounts of water to be produced.
– Can be misleading, to make us think it is good for our skin, but most organic cotton is dyed and treated with toxic chemicals.
NOTE: Organic is always better, however fabrics like tencel, lensing, and hemp offer comparable qualities and need less water for production.
+ Waste reducing!
+ With recycled PET we also become less reliant on fossil fuels = reduction of GHG emissions.
– Sets microfibers which can't be filtered out of out water free.
– Often uses more energy and chemicals than new garments.
NOTE: The process of recycling PET bottles needs a ton of energy and chemicals, so to create a piece which will only have a short life span it is not so eco-friendly after all. Take a closer look at the product, to see if the quality will last more than just a few seasons and it is not a time bound design.
Tortoise & Lady Grey
Reddit - Sustainable Fashion
The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive industries out there. But we can change that. A subreddit for those who love both fashion and the planet.
Sandhya Garg is a Project Runway fashion designer. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few. She has her own successful resort wear, vacation dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US, Workshop at Macy's, Ftv.com, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few.
She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses, casual resort attire and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays.