Slow Fashion Is Having Its Own Fashion Moment.
Slow fashion in the spotlight. How much do you really know about fast fashion?
Let’s look at some fast facts. According to Upparel, Australians purchase an enormous 27kg of new textiles each year. And we each send 23kg to landfill - every single year. Add that up and that means as a country we’re throwing away over 6,000kg of textile and clothing waste… every 10 minutes. That clothing waste can take up to 40 years to decompose. If it’s shoes, then that skyrockets to 1,000 years.
And the clothing that the average person does keep stays in our wardrobe for half as long before it’s discarded compared to 15 years ago*. It’s enough to make you rethink your shopping habits entirely. Which is exactly what’s putting slow fashion in the spotlight. Its fashion moment is here - and here to stay. And if those earlier numbers are making you feel down, the good news is there’s plenty of slow fashion designers to be excited and grateful for. Sustainably-minded brands are getting creative and innovative with ways to reduce the impact on the environment. Here are six close to home cleaning up the fashion space with best practices to be admired.
Aaziél, made in Melbourne. Aaziel carefully sources all their fabrics to ensure that their ethical values and practice are integrated into every process of production. This includes working closely with a textiles agency which saves finely edited fabric leftover or used by high end brands.
ESSE, made in Sydney. For pieces like their Gathered pant, ESSE uses Naia™ cellulosic fibre which offers full transparency from tree to fibre and is made with no hazardous chemicals. Responsibly sourced from sustainably managed pine and eucalyptus forests and plantations to ensure no deforestation of protected forests, it’s produced in a safe, closed-loop process where solvents are recycled back into the system for reuse.
Kowtow, made in India. Committed to a slow production chain and traceable supply chain, collections will often take up to 18 months from design to delivery. This considered process ensures workers rights and environmental protection is never compromised, as well as supporting the brand’s commitment to fair wages, no child labour, workers’ rights, gender equality and grower community.
Autark, made in Adelaide. Their current collection uses exclusively either deadstock fabric (that would otherwise go to waste) or 100% natural or organic fibres. It’s an important and welcome choice given approximately 22 million tonnes of plastic-based clothing ends up in landfills or incinerated each year thanks to commonly favoured plastic-based fibres (including poly, nylon acrylic, and elastane) used in fast fashion.
SAYE, made in Portugal. The labels’ sneakers are made using organic and recycled materials, helping to restore forests and empowering local communities. For each pair of sneakers sold, SAYE plants two trees as well as including a plantable card in every box to encourage customers to experiment with their green thumb. Looking ahead, the brand is committed to becoming animal-free and zero waste, and released their first up-cycled vegan shoe last year crafted with recycled and recyclable fibres from recovered plastics. Tip: The Modelo ‘89 in Vegan Caramel sneaker has just landed at After Eight.
Albus Lumen, made in Australia. Designing for the busy and empowered women, Albus Lumen created Modernist clothes made from the finest natural fabrics, always crafted with a conscience. These natural fabrications include recycled fabrics, all made with care in Australia. Strictly opposed to over producing, they live the ethos that less is more. *Greenpeace 2016