Has the COVID got you thinking more about supporting local businesses? As a sustainable fashion brand we’re glad to see the world shifting from big corporations and cheaply made, to local and sustainable.
When it comes to fashion, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying your clothes from Amazon or big box brands. But the true cost of this goes way beyond the sticker price. The truth is, slower fashion movements are bringing down the global cost of the fashion industry, and it’s something we can all get behind, without sacrificing our style...or our wallet. Slow fashion vs. fast fashion.
What is slow fashion you ask? Where fast fashion is all about creating the highest quantity of clothes at the cheapest price, slow fashion is the opposite.
Slow fashion focuses on sustainable, close-to-home practices that minimize the impact on our environment.
The slow fashion movement has 3 defining principles:
- Includes local approaches
- Has a transparent production system
- Creates sustainable and one-of-a-kind products.
Upcycling is slow fashion
Ever gone thrift shopping to find those timeless pieces you can’t find anywhere else? Then you’ve partaken in a key part of slow fashion called upcycling.
Upcycling is another form of slow fashion because it takes clothes that would otherwise end up in a landfill and gives them new life in new designs.
Ushi Mart upcycles the majority of the clothes we make, reducing our carbon footprint, landfills, and creating distinctive fashion for our buyers. This movement is focused on being more conscious of:
- which clothes you buy,
- what they’re made of,
- how they are made and sold,
- and where they are made.
It’s a trend that’s going viral (check #slowfashion) now that more people are turning to support local businesses and products.
Upcycle your own wardrobe
There are many Pinterest search results for how to upcycle old or vintage clothing and many people have made upcycling their career. Many, like Ushi Mart, are turning otherwise unwanted clothes into new gems. It meets all three principles of slow fashion (local, transparent practices, sustainable) and when you buy upcycled fashion from businesses like Ushi Mart you’re getting one-of-a-kind clothing that becomes your signature ID.
Slow fashion is humane
Fast fashion has a price to pay on the environment and the working conditions of the people involved in it. For a lot of big corps, their clothes are manufactured in oversea sweatshops or by children in developing third world countries. Because their mandate is to produce as much stock as possible, for as cheaply as possible, The working conditions in these factories are often less than desirable, or even inhumane and don’t pay well.
Slow fashion brands consider their employee safety, comfort, and education as part of its principles. Slow fashion brands may not be able to churn-out thousands of copies of each item you’d find at Walmart, but you can rest easy knowing that each slow fashion piece is made with the utmost care because the employees are treated well, are paid fair wages, and love their job.
When you love your job, you do better work!
Slow fashion is made local
Slow fashion designers create their products locally and use local workers and resources as much as possible. Unlike the mass-produced clothing that is made by cheap labour in a mass production warehouse, slow fashion is made close to home in smaller quantities, making your piece more unique.
Slow fashion is environmentally sustainable
There is a huge environmental cost to fast fashion, including the wasted materials thrown in landfills, the pollution it creates from overseas transportation. We’ve even seen stories in the news of many global fashion brands literally incinerating their stock that goes unsold. Gross.
Slow fashion brands are consciously aware of the quantity and quality of items they create. They’re mindful of all aspects of their business and making an effort to find the most environmentally conscious and ethical ways to bring unique fashion pieces to you.
This could include working in buildings with eco-friendly features or designs. Ushi Mart, for example, is in the iconic Cotton Factory which was once the site of Imperial Cotton Co. and has been transformed into office and creative space for over 100 local tenants.
How you can support local and slow fashion
You can support local and slow fashion in Canada or wherever you live, by choosing local designers who create products and fashions that are locally sourced and made, have a transparent production system, and use sustainable materials and practices. Verena Erin, a blogger in BC, created a big round-up of over 100 Canadian Slow Fashion Brands, and over 18 WOC-owned fashion brands from around the globe.