Slow fashion, a new way of making and wearing clothes.

The term slow fashionslow fashion or ethical fashion was coined in 2007 by Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion in London.

Behind the concept of slow fashion there is a different way of understanding the textile sector, from the origin of the garments to their use by users.

About two decades ago, the big textile brands implemented the fast fashion model, a model based on mass production of low quality garments with a high environmental and social impact. fast fashionmodel, a model based on mass production of low-quality garments with a high environmental and social impact.

In fact, "fast fashion" has made the textile sector the second most polluting sector on the planet in recent years (responsible for 10% of carbon emissions).

Slow fashion has emerged as a reaction to this irresponsible way of understanding the sector, advocating a more sustainable, conscious and responsible model and producer-user relationship.

How did slow fashion, slow fashion or ethical fashion come about?

Slow fashion began to gain momentum after the tragedy that occurred in 2013 in a textile factory in Bangladesh.

The facilities, which did not comply with basic safety measures, collapsed, killing more than a thousand workers, more than half of them women.

After the tragedy, which was broadcast by several television channels around the world, users began to opt for slow fashion, that is, to buy fair trade and higher quality clothes, to the detriment of cheaper clothes that are more harmful to the planet.

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The basics of slow fashion for producers

Any fashion brand or designer who wants to create their clothes according to the slow fashion or ethical fashion model should be based on the aspects discussed below.

The origin of materials

Ethical fashion promotes the use of zero-kilometre materials as opposed to materials sourced from further afield (especially Asia).

Local production of materials reduces costs in environmental terms by avoiding the time-consuming importation of materials.

The quality of the materials

The origin of the materials is key, but so is their quality.

Unlike fast fashion, slow fashion is committed to the use of high quality materials that extend the useful life of garments, mainly organic cotton.

Clothing should be a long-lasting product, not one that, due to poor quality materials, quickly deteriorates and ends up in the rubbish.

Local, ethical and quality work

In the face of the relocation of production to developing countries, slow fashion and its local production is a source of work for local people, who receive a fair wage.

This avoids the exploitation of labour in countries with lower production costs, resulting in low quality garments with a huge environmental impact (as environmental laws in these countries are often lax or non-existent).

Designing handmade clothes following the model of slow fashion or ethical fashion.

Zero waste production

Another basis of slow fashion is to continue to improve production processes to achieve "zero waste".

In other words, ethical fashion must be an increasingly less polluting activity, with the consequent benefit for the planet.

The limited and timeless production

Slow fashion rejects large-scale industrial production and the temporary nature of garments. Instead, it focuses on smaller, artisanal production that prioritises quality over quantity.

Traceability of garments

The traceability of slow fashion garments means that the user knows who, where and under what conditions the garments he/she purchases have been made.

In this way, you ensure that you are buying sustainable and ethical garments.

The basics of slow fashion for users

Ethical fashion is not limited to producers: we, the users, must also do our bit to continue making slow fashion and its responsible model possible.

Conscious clothing consumption

Users must change the fast fashion mentality that makes us see textile products (clothing, laces, accessories...) as "throwaway" products after a few uses.

Rather, we need to start looking at clothing as a long-lasting product that can be mended, reused and even recycled. In this way we fulfil the famous 3Rs of everyday sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Prioritise locally produced clothing

Although the price of slow fashion may be higher, it is important to bear in mind that, by purchasing this garment, we are supporting local, fair and quality work.

Likewise, as we have seen, the planet will thank us for saving it the enormous amount of polluting gases that it receives each year from the textile sector alone.

In short, what slow fashion pursues on the part of both producers and users is, to a certain extent, a return to the traditional business model prior to the last industrial revolution.

And this model is the local production, sale and consumption of clothes that we will wear much longer than the fast fashion of the big brands, women's jeans, men's jeans or any other type of denim garment that will be able to last even for years.

Slow fashion, slow fashion or ethical fashion
  • Poorer quality materials imported from third countries
  • Highest quality and zero-kilometre materials
  • Garments mostly manufactured in developing countries, where safety measures and labour rights are not respected.
  • Locally made garments respecting safety measures and workers' rights
  • Production carried out without respecting environmental laws, which contributes to air, river and sea pollution.
  • Production that constantly improves processes to reach zero waste target
  • Mass and industrial production producing low quality garments
  • Limited and timeless production that prefers quality over quantity of garments.

Bustins Jeans, the slow fashion brand of the Costa Brava

At Bustins Jeans (formerly Bustins Stock) we are a pioneering denim brand that has been following the slow fashion model for over fifty years:

  • Because we are committed to the local and ethical production of our garments, created with quality and zero kilometre materials.
  • Because the catalogue of our women's denim and men's denim clothing is small and timeless, because for us, quality is more important than quantity and mass production.
  • Because we continue to improve our manufacturing processes to make them increasingly environmentally friendly. In this way, we are in line with Sustainable Development Goal 12 "Responsible Consumption and Production" of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

But above all, we are slow fashion because our planet needs it more than ever.

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