Maybe you've never heard the term slow fashion. Or maybe you've heard it but you're not quite sure what it means. What's the difference between slow fashion and fast fashion?
The main difference is how they're produced and the quantities in which they're produced. It also influences their environmental and social impact. Below I'll tell you five facts about slow fashion that will help you understand this emerging fashion movement.
Slow fashion is produced in small quantities
Big activewear brands like Fabletics and Lululemon create their products in massive amounts. They carry huge inventories and sell thousands to millions of the same item to thousands of millions of people. They have to be ready for the demand.
Slow fashion brands carry small inventories and, often, products are made to order. PIXIBU carries no inventory. When you place your order, it goes to our production team, who then produces the item to send to you.
Slow fashion is handmade
Fast fashion brands often employ machines to cut, dye, and assemble their products. This often leads to lower quality and craftsmanship.
Slow fashion is almost always made by hand, either by a single person or by a team of people. PIXIBU apparel is printed, cut, and sewn individually by real people who are experts at what they do. Each piece is also quality checked before it is packed and shipped.
This is why slow fashion also takes a little longer to get to you. It's being created just for you!
Fast fashion is made to trash. Slow fashion is made to last.
Slow fashion creates less waste than fast fashion
What is the difference between slow fashion and fast fashion? The biggest is the amount of waste that is created. The truth is that the fashion industry is the second-largest polluting industry after oil.
Fast fashion is the main culprit. What happens when those huge inventories don't sell? They end up in landfills. In addition, a lot of waste ends up on the cutting room floors in fast fashion factories because it's quicker and cheaper to cut fabrics without considering how much excess there will be.
Slow fashion aims to curb much of that waste. As already mentioned, slow fashion brands carry little to no inventory. Our manufacturers try to find new ways to cut garments to reduce the amount of fabric that ends up on the cutting room floor.
We also produce high-quality garments that will last for years and hopefully have a special place in your wardrobe for years to come. You aren't going to stop buying clothes altogether, but you can make better choices when you do shop.
Slow fashion is more ethical
This difference between fast fashion and slow fashion varies greatly by brand but, in general, slow fashion puts more of an emphasis on people and the transparency of its supply chain. Fast fashion is often produced in factories in China and other countries that lack transparency and may have unsafe and unfair work environments.
Slow fashion is made by one person or by a team of people. When you place your order, a person or group of people get to work on creating your garment specifically for you. We ensure transparency in our supply chain and require that all our manufacturers and suppliers adhere to fair labor standards.
Slow fashion is more expensive to create
Manufacturers provide quantity based discounts. The more you produce, the lower the per-product price. Therefore, the big fast-fashion brands can get huge discounts when they mass-produce.
Small, slow fashion brands don't get these discounts; therefore our per-piece cost is considerably higher. Additionally, slow fashion often uses higher quality fabrics that are more expensive, and we ensure the people who produce our goods are paid fair wages.
You often don't see those huge price cuts when you buy fast fashion. Many big brands have huge margins—great for them, but not for you.
Handmade, slow fashion costs more to produce but it's often doesn't retail for any more than the big brands. We just have way smaller margins.
PIXIBU's goal is to be competitive on price. We believe that what we offer is just as good—or better—than the fast fashion brands. But we want to keep our prices affordable, so we simply have lower margins. We're not going to be millionaires, but hopefully we'll have happy, loyal customers, and we'll know that we chose a business model that was more sustainable and ethical.
Now that you know the difference between fast fashion and slow fashion, does it change your thoughts about how you'll shop in the future?
This article was written by health and fitness expert and PIXIBU founder Jody Braverman, PN1, NASM-CPT, NASM-FNS, RYT 200.
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