What is slow fashion and why you should care
The Slow Food Movement began in Italy in the 1980s -- and was established to support small scale, local and sustainable farming practices that honoured regional food traditions. The antithesis of large-scale, globalization of the fast food industry, Slow Food spawned a broader slow movement that impacts many aspects of life, including fashion.
Slow Fashion Gaining Traction
A slow fashion industry (vs fast fashion) is one that values exceptionally high quality, minimises environmental impacts, is fair to producers throughout the supply chain and utilising sustainable fabric. Prices are fair to consumers and reflect the need for treating workers well, all the way along the production line.
Organizations like Fashion Revolution are calling on all of us to shift our ideas of what’s acceptable when it comes to clothing production. When factories collapse on garment workers in developing nations and toxic chemicals used in fabric dyes threaten the environment, we all need to think about shifting our ideas about our endless hunger for this week’s hot new fashions.
Slow Fashion is Healthy Fashion
Clothing produced with slow fashion in mind considers sustainable, eco-friendly practices from start to finish. Instead of using synthetics, natural materials like organically-produced cotton and hemp are good for the earth, the environment and its people. These materials feel good against the skin and, being chemical free, are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Slipping into well-made articles of clothing or into a bed made up with luxuriant natural sheets nourishes the soul in a way that buying yet another cheaply made, mass-produced piece of clothing or bedding set never will.
Not only is it a pleasure to own something made with love and caring, items like these last longer than many flimsy, cheaply manufactured items that fall apart after a few washes. The classic designs of slow fashion are evergreen - you’ll wear these beautifully made garments for years to come and that lovely bedding set will wind up moving out of the house and going off to college when your kids grow up and want to take something familiar from home along with them.
Where to Start?
If you’re looking for a versatile, stylish foundation piece of clothing to start building your slow fashion wardrobe, consider a pair of Vertex Slow Fashion wraparound pants made with organic hemp. This classic design is an all-season staple, comfy enough to be worn casually around the house or elegant enough to slip into when you head out for dinner. The more you wear these lightweight pants, the softer and more luxurious the organic hemp and cotton blend becomes! Hard-wearing, this fabric is naturally stain and odour resistant. Though many love the the pants in the naturally raw colour of the un-dyed fabric, we also offer a hand-coloured version in a gorgeous blue eco-dyed with our homegrown Indigo.
In any manufacturing process there are off cuts and leftovers, and at Mandala Dream Co we are constantly looking for creative ways to use our remnants. From business cards to personalized labels, patchwork projects and more, we believe we have a responsibility to nurture the planet and keep our footprint as light and small as possible.
Is all this more labour intensive? Well, yes. But that’s the whole point of slow fashion. It’s not about churning out more product faster. It’s about the creative journey and the process of carefully selecting just the right natural materials, finding sustainable production methods and the result is a piece of clothing that is made with love and respect and is something to treasure for many, many years.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
When, eventually, your slow fashion items have been worn to death, the natural materials that were used to create them in the first place are fully biodegradable and easily recyclable. Well-used items return to their origins to nurture the earth rather than harm it by clogging landfills with synthetic materials that take eons to degrade.
More Organizations Are Spreading the Word About Slow Fashion
Ethical Fashion Australia provides a wealth of information and resources about the ethical fashion movement in Australia. Find out what’s new in fashion from local, ethical creators and read about everything from the benefits of organic production techniques to a great list of resources if you are interested in digging deeper and learning more.
Mandala Dream Co - More Than Just a Pretty Pattern or Fashion Brand
Mandalas are beautiful, yes, but more than that, the word mandala is a symbol of the universe. We all make choices every day about how we will interact with the world around us and it’s up to each of us to decide how to shape the future of our precious planet. At Mandala Dream Co we are doing our best to create beautiful products that are good for the body, the mind and the spirit in a way that’s sustainable and healthy but what makes us happiest is knowing we are part of a much bigger movement.
We’d love to hear how you are taking part in the Slow Fashion movement. Take a photo of you wearing an upcycled item of clothing, your latest second-hand treasure, or a pair of Vertex wraparound hemp pants! Post on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #mandaladreamco so we can find you.