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What is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is a movement that encourages a more sustainable and ethical approach to fashion. It is a response to the negative environmental and social impacts of the fast fashion industry, which relies on rapid production and consumption. The slow fashion movement aims to promote a slower, more conscious approach to clothing consumption and production.

Sustainability can sound like the drum beating, guilt wielding side kick to the climate crisis. We get it, there is an awful lot we as individuals are expected to be responsible for, and right now when the stakes of our planet are as high as our food bills its fair to assume sustainability will cost us financially and put even more burden onto our already heavy load.

The key principles of slow fashion include slowing down the production and consumption of clothing, choosing clothes consciously by considering their environmental and social impact, and encouraging connection and engagement with clothing through practices such as re-wearing and sharing. The movement promotes transparency and accountability in fashion supply chains, advocating for fair wages, safe working conditions, and environmentally friendly practices.

When we launched By Elleven our decision to have sustainability as one of our pillars was a personal one not a commercial one, we believe if all fashion brands take small steps to make their business more sustainable, by taking it out of the customers hands the difference we could make would be enormous. The Fashion Industry as a rule isn’t sustainable, anything that uses the earths resources in its production can’t be, but By Elleven decided we to make a conscious effort to limit the impact our brand had on the environment.

By embracing slow fashion, individuals can contribute to reducing waste, decreasing the exploitation of natural resources, and supporting ethical practices in the fashion industry. This can be achieved through various actions, such as buying high-quality, durable clothing, investing in timeless designs that can be worn for many seasons, and supporting local and sustainable brands.

Simple tweaks that meant purchases made on By Elleven were more sustainable included sending packages out in compostable mailer bags, opting to use Organic Cotton and having a vintage edit, this means we use single use plastics, no pesticides are used during the production of our Cotton and less “new” clothing is produced as vintage is already in circulation. We aren’t perfect and there are lots of ways we are looking to be better in the near future, by using carbon neutral suppliers and couriers, ensuring our entire supply chain is plastic free and manufacturing more in the UK.

But what can we do as individuals to become more sustainable? Truth is, loads. Sustainability is an umbrella term for a ton of good stuff, none of which are rocket science.

Start by wearing your clothes, statistics show that we only wear our clothes an average of 7 times before discarding them, this has led to around 18 million tonnes of clothing being thrown away around the world every year.

Of course there are circumstances when a garment is no longer fit for purpose, maternity wear, school uniform etc. As Stylists we find the most common reason people no longer wear their clothes is because they feel dated and stuck in the era in which they bought them. Re-styling old clothes instantly updates your look and is an easy and free way to breathe new life into old clothes, save images of outfits you see on social media and “shop” your own wardrobe to recreate them before buying anything new.

The second reason we don’t wear our clothes enough could be that they no longer fit or are damaged, If it’s too big can it be altered? If its damaged can it be mended? If its too small and it can’t be up-cycled, sell it or swap it for something that’s of use to you.

Remember, slow fashion is not about completely avoiding buying new clothes, but rather adopting a mindful and responsible approach to fashion consumption. It encourages us to think about the impact of our fashion choices and make more sustainable decisions.


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