I get asked all the time in interviews how can we make better choices? In a world that moves so fast it makes sense that fast fashion has been so successful. We don't have time to stop, think, question and research our options. There are a million things on our minds so we make choices that are fast, convenient and require minimal effort.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “there is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”. Have we listened? My answer is, f**k no!
So allow me to be blunt, I'm doing it anyway.
The movement of eco fashion (which encompasses sustainable fashion, ethical fashion and slow fashion) is disrupting this auto-pilot-stuck-in-a-rut-move-faster-so-you-can't-think default mode the puppeteers of the fashion world have created. Good! When people work all day and night to create textiles and garments for us, yet struggle to survive because they cannot afford the basic necessities of life, you know something is wrong, very wrong.
Yet why do so many continue to buy without asking how the item we intend on buying came to be? Why do sone still see a sale rack with $5 items of clothing and go into a frenzy and not stop to think that the decision they are about to make will create the fate of this planet?
The point of slow fashion (vs fast fashion) is to SLOW down our decision making process so we don't get caught up in the feeding frenzy that is so cleverly prayed on by marketing experts of the fast fashion industry and so we learn about why our choices matter. Once we become aware of their tactics and psychological manipulation we become thoughtful in what we choose and therefore have the mental space to understand the impact of our choices.
So slow down, take a breath next time you see that "all too conveniently placed" sale rack full of fast fashion crap, call bull shit on it and move along. We're not falling for that any more...
Here is a simple rule I tell viewers and listeners of interviews. If you have to buy new then if it is made in developing countries make it fair trade and organic. If it is made in developed countries make it organic. If you can can buy organic and local that is great, but most of the mileage on clothing production is done in your trip to get it or postage to have it delivered. So don't run the rhetoric you've been told that local is best for the planet, make it organic.
For more on clothing mileage and why buying local isn't always the best for the planet sign up to the blog/newsletter below.