The fashion industry is infamously one of the most waste generating industries in the world. With the current rise in social media blogging and fast fashion, people find it effortless to buy dozens of inexpensive clothes and then dispose of them after a single-use. Sure, fast fashion is easy on your pocket, but it does come at a huge social cost. It causes grave damage to our environment as the majority of our clothes go to landfills giving rise to the already inflated pollution levels.
According to several reports, “An average consumer throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year out of which 95% could be easily reused or recycled.” Furthermore, the fashion industry is a leading contributor to water pollution, noise pollution, and air pollution. Hence, emphasizing more strongly why adapting to slow fashion is the need of the hour.
Now, what is slow fashion, you ask?
Slow Fashion is the movement of designing, producing, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages to laborers, lower carbon footprints, and possibly zero waste generation.
It might be considered as an alternative to fast fashion in a way that it encourages an ethical and sustainable way of buying and consuming. Some components of the slow fashion ideology include purchasing and upcycling old clothes, supporting smaller producers, DIYing clothes and accessories at home and buying good quality garments that are long-lasting.
So, if you thought that embracing slow fashion was like dieting where you will be forced to adapt to a bland lifestyle just because it’s healthy, you are highly mistaken. In fact, it is more like cooking where you buy groceries which last for a longer period of time and use up things that are already stocked in your kitchen. This lifestyle proves to be both healthy and cost-efficient in the long run. Hence, Win-win!
Now, if you’re feeling extremely motivated to switch to the good old slow fashion but do not know where to start, allow me to be your guide. The best and the most efficient way to begin would be to – Upcycle!
Upcycling or the second-life movement primarily involves using vintage or rejected pieces of clothing and modifying them into something which is better than its original in terms of design and values.
If you think that the concept sounds a bit familiar to you, grab a quick peek at your wardrobe and be reassured. Yes, the idea of upcycling is as Indian as it gets and has been passed on from generations now. I can assure you that there must be at least one piece of clothing in your wardrobe which has been made out of your mom’s old Benarasi silk saree or your grandma’s beautiful vintage Kanjeevaram drape. This concept not only helps in the reduction of fashion waste but also passes on the legacy of our exquisite Indian textiles and gives them the recognition they deserve.
Moreover, repeating clothes is not considered a fashion faux pas anymore. In fact, celebrities who make public appearances with their old upcycled outfits are applauded for making a statement and for contributing to the slow fashion movement. So guess what, the age-old adage of ‘Old Is Gold’ was right all along.
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