“Sunlight filtering through a window as you cosy up with a book.
Peeling an orange on the roof in the winter sun.
Line drying clothes as a slight breeze passes through them.
Receiving a long voice note or handwritten letter from someone you love.
Taking time to really think about it before you impulse-buy that new dress.
Breathing deep into a stretch.
Navigating contemporary living can often leave you feeling like you’re spinning around in circles. Moving constantly, exerting all your energy only to end up exactly in the same place — drained, dizzy and a little bit disoriented. Whether it’s work, hyperfast news cycles or fashion trends, we get caught in a whirlwind of global systems all competing for our attention. In trying to keep up, we spin and spin — and end up spinning past the idea of ‘slow’ entirely. We spin past intention, empathy, connection, imagination; all the beautiful details we miss entirely when we don’t get the chance to stop and look. ‘Slowness’ or slow living:
- Stopping, sitting and savouring: visuals, ideas and sensations.
- Taking the time to understand the intention behind actions and systems. Speed erases any trace of intention.
- A state of mind, moving through the world at a speed which actually allows you to stop and contemplate.
‘Slowness’ can bend and bubble into many shapes, but I like to see it as a circle, a core of warm light which radiates outwards onto whatever you’re looking at. A way of seeing that can fundamentally change what is being seen. The current global fashion system is anything but slow, churning out more than 100 billion garments per year, a figure which has doubled since 2000.
(McKinsey & the Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
The ability to produce this much, this fast, relies on a deeply and intricately connected web of exploitation. One which entraps workers across fashion supply chains and the earth’s natural systems in an unsustainable cycle. Approaching fashion from a lens of ‘slowness’, there’s a seismic shift in the way things are done.
Exploitation is replaced with intention, which is poured into every stage of the fashion production process as well as the way we consume fashion
From opting for organically grown, natural textiles to designing with fabric offcuts and existing waste. From releasing low volume, timeless collections to compensating skilled people fairly for their time and knowledge. Slow fashion ensures quality in our clothes and quality in the lives of the people who make them. ‘Slowness’ cultivates ethical fashion because practising empathy requires slowing down. We need to slow down to consider all the hands a garment passed through before it reached us and whether those hands are completing their work fulfilled or hungry. We need to slow down to consider the impact of textiles on their external environment and how to minimise that impact.
Through this same lens, or core of light, impulse buying becomes conscious buying
‘Slowness’ manifests in having a mindset of longevity, investing in quality pieces and rewearing them often and for years to come. It’s challenging a culture of disposability by
viewing buying clothes as a long-term decision and really contemplating how much wear you’ll get out of a piece before committing to own and care for it.
When we slow down, we get to cultivate our own personal style and move on from that frustrating ‘so many clothes but nothing to wear’ feeling. We create the space to think about
what actually looks and feels good to our bodies rather than letting trends define how we look and what we invest in.
The satisfaction that comes with buying consciously is holistic and sustained — it radiates and expands every time a piece is worn and new memories are made in it.
‘Slow’ doesn’t end at consumption, but continues to bleed into how we value and care for our garments after committing to owning them. Shifting to a mindset of longevity looks: like
- taking good care of our clothes to maximise their lifespan
- repairing them when damaged or torn,
- rehoming them responsibly when we’re no longer wearing them,
Considering what, where and how you shop,
looking at fashion, through the lens of ‘slow’.
Article by : Maya Aarohi