Sustainable & Ethical Fashion
Shopping for clothes used to be an occasional event — something we did a few times a year when seasons changed or when we outgrew old garments. But in the past few decades, something changed. Clothes became cheaper and mass-produced, and people were shopping more often than ever before. This concept is what the industry knows as “fast fashion,” and we’ll cover exactly what that means and why we should stray away from it.
The Difference Between Slow & Fast Fashion
Fast fashion refers to the cheap, mass-produced clothing that often replicates the latest styles shown on catwalks and fashion shows. With the availability of low-cost clothing, people are buying unnecessary amounts, wearing items only a handful of times, and then discarding them. While many consumers find the low prices understandably appealing, it’s important to know that fast fashion significantly cuts corners in quality, workplace practices, and environmental sustainability.
Conversely, slow fashion is all about conscious and mindful purchasing behavior. It aims to create a system where designers, retailers, and consumers are more aware of the impact that clothing production can have on workers, communities, and the planet. Slow fashion principles include producing intentionally, using quality materials that last longer, and providing optimal working conditions for all employees.
Benefits of Sustainable & Ethical Fashion
Sustainable and ethical fashion are a big part of the slow fashion movement, but they each have a distinct focus. Sustainable fashion centers on clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly. With ethical fashion, there’s a focus on addressing how the industry currently operates, heavily valuing social welfare and worker rights. There are many benefits of slow, sustainable, and ethical fashion, including the following:
1. Good for the Planet
Currently, the fashion industry is responsible for approximately 20% of the world’s wastewater and 10% of global CO2 emissions. However, sustainable shoe brands like Adelante are committed to using eco-friendly production methods to reduce their impact on the environment. When buying clothing and accessories from these brands, you are supporting a sustainable fashion culture and taking steps toward healing the planet
2. Higher Quality Clothing
Just because brands are popular and well-known does not mean that they sell quality products. In fact, much of the clothing from the most popular brands is made from low-grade materials, wears out quickly, and requires frequent replacement. On the other hand, slow fashion brands create their pieces using high quality materials, mindful processes, and durable construction. For example, Adelante crafts shoes from premium materials like full-grain leather, and uses Goodyear welt construction so your shoes can be resoled again and again. Purchasing from an ethical shoe brand like Adelante will also save you money in the long run as you won’t have to buy new shoes as often.
3. Support Fair Labor Practices
In many fast fashion brands, employees work alarming hours, are paid below minimum wage, and are expected to use dangerous equipment that puts them at risk. On the other hand, mission-driven brands like Adelante put their workers first. When brands value people over profit, they ensure all employees are treated well. Adelante pays all craftsmen double the market rate, provides healthcare, and offers bonus opportunities so artisans can build brighter futures for their families.
Prioritize Slow Fashion Brands
Now is the time to prioritize slow fashion and put more thought into our everyday purchases. As the antithesis of fast fashion, slow fashion focuses on sustainable practices, ethical working conditions, and high quality clothing. A few noteworthy fashion brands which share these qualities include Patagonia, Reformation, Outerknown, Faherty, and Summersalt. By supporting these brands and ethical shoe brands like Adelante, you can invest in long-lasting products while saving money and helping the environment. If you want to support the slow fashion movement and invest in a pair of gorgeous leather shoes, view our full collection at Adelante today!