Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Slow Fashion is the epitome of sustainable fashion. This movement, which started around 20 years ago, examines the processes and resources required to make clothing. It focuses on sustainability, values, fair trade, and ethical responsibility for people, animals, and the environment. Slow Fashion promotes slower production, unifies sustainability with ethics, and invites consumers to invest in well-made clothes that they keep for a lifetime through building minimalist wardrobes. It also promotes artisan-made quality, upcycling, and repairing clothes to save money and resources.
Slow Fashion asks you to buy less clothing less often while still looking fabulous and stylish. You'll have more room in your closet while making ethically responsible clothing choices. Plus, you will save a ton of money in the long run! Think about it: If you buy three $10 T-shirts every year for five years, you're out $150. But if you spend $75 on three higher-quality T-shirts that'll last you five years, you're saving $75. Suddenly, the initial expense doesn't seem like an absurd investment. Buying fewer, high-quality items which last longer is at the heart of how Slow Fashion saves you money.
1. Timeless! Versatility and Durability
Your style can change over time, but slow fashion pieces will work at any age because they're investments—timeless pieces that you can rework for years to come.
The beauty of a slow-crafted garment is its versatility. It allows you to mix and match day in through day out for many years and still feel like you have something new. Slow fashion garments possess natural durability because they use high-quality textiles and construction methods that are strong and rarely need repair.
Look for high-quality garments made from natural and organic materials such as linen, hemp, jute, and cotton.
Buy fabrics resistant to stretch.
Go for heavier fabric weight.
Select tightly woven textiles.
Look out for imperfections.
Add color, pattern, and texture.
2. Building a Capsule Wardrobe (Collection)
You guessed it -- you save money with a capsule wardrobe over time. A capsule collection is a cherry on top of the slow fashion sundae. It will help you figure out what to wear quickly and easily, avoiding decision fatigue. It encourages you to get creative by styling your wardrobe in new ways and learning to mix and match. Plus, fewer clothes mean less waste taking up space in landfills and oceans.
You can save money initially by adding only a couple of slow fashion items to your wardrobe. Having a few reliable artisan-made pieces in your closet can elevate your current attire. Ideally, a collection of slow fashion pieces for your capsule wardrobe is best. This type of wardrobe is high-quality but has only a fraction of the number of clothes you would have in a fast-fashion wardrobe.
3. Worthy of Care and Repair
Taking care of your wardrobe should be easy. Look for natural fibers so you can avoid expensive and toxic dry cleaning. Wash your items on cold, especially your favorite pieces, and lay flat to dry. A skilled local tailor is a perfect companion for your slow fashion budget, as well as learning to sew. Maintaining a garment can save you money even years after it has paid for itself.
Raanu Handwoven offers free repair of our garments and affordable tailoring. If you want a tailor near you, we will happily advise you on looking for a good tailor.
4. Upcycled Yarn
At Raanu Handwoven, the artisan, Bridgette, starts with mill-end yarn. Her supplier rescues these threads from being dumped in landfills and oceans by large manufacturing houses. Bridgette gives these upcycled threads another life by plying, winding, and tying thousands of them onto her loom to create handwoven wearable heirlooms. You benefit from the savings to the environment and the use of low-cost upcycled yarn. New materials would require Raanu to charge twice as much.
5. Thrifting, Vintage, Clothing Swaps, and Resales
A clothing swap is an excellent opportunity to pass on your lightly worn clothes to others who will enjoy them in exchange for new ones. Shopping at thrift and vintage stores are other ways to participate in the slow fashion movement. And there are many virtual experiences like ThredUp and Poshmark that allow you to shop and swap pre-loved clothes. These quality second-hand threads are iconic, well-made, fit well and look great on you.
Purchasing one less new fast fashion item a year can save billions of pounds of carbon emissions. Instead of grabbing that $10 sweater, focus on building a capsule wardrobe with slow fashion items. They pay for themselves over and over again, without looking old or tired!