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Fast Fashion or Slow Fashion?

The two names, Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion , are two opposite concepts in every way.

We could compare them with the fast food industry balanced with that of healthy nutrition , in this way the differences become more obvious.

The fast food industry is based on speed, large quantities (and sometimes good taste) of food, depersonalized and cheap menus, and unhealthy sources and methods of preparation. The fast fashion industry is the equivalent of this model in terms of clothes: attractive and focused on one current trend , created at a fast pace , offered at a low price that will satisfy a customer not interested in quality , produced in terrible working conditions and in -a way that degrades the environment.

At the opposite pole , the field of Slow Fashion is comparable to that of healthy eating: more complex as a production process , with a different rhythm of design , creation and offer , with a (higher) price that reflects these differences and, not to be neglected, taking into account at every step the working environment of the employees , sustainability and the impact on the environment .

The Izabela Mandoiu brand is part of the Slow Fashion field.

The goal of the fast fashion industry is to produce (and sell) as many products as possible, in the shortest possible time, for the greatest possible profit. It is a business model in which an international chain will launch on the market not 2 or 4 collections per season, as happens at the big fashion houses, but 52 micro-collections fueled by trends, produced at the lowest possible quality and sold at a certain price so that it sells in large numbers until the next micro-collection is released.

Slow fashion brands produce on demand (eliminating returns, waste or stock that may otherwise end up in landfill), as personalized as possible (custom made , with monograms, adjusting lengths or adding pockets), in a reasonable amount of time . Not to be neglected, the slow fashion workshops pay great attention to the finishing of each individual piece: the seams are checked , the clothes are lined , the material has been tested for fading and shrinking before being cut. Most slow fashion brands use organic materials and fabrics (if they are not organic, they are natural), they have workshops that support the local workforce and trades that require human "hands" (seamstresses, touch-ups, embroiderers), they use producers from the same country , even uses packaging from recycled materials . Very importantly, the creations of slow fashion brands do not copy trends, they are always original (they do not copy the design of another creator) and are born from the talent of a single man or a small team.

The comparison between the two models - one mass consumer, the second niche - should not be simplified and reduced only to price (cheap vs. expensive). Do we need to change the lens on our relationship with clothes: consumption or respect, quantity or quality, short life in the wardrobe or longevity? I dare say that the way we relate to the wardrobe is a mirror of some of our values, a paradigm and some beliefs that, fortunately, can be changed.

I'll give you an example.

When it comes to clothes, the general mindset (which leads to overconsumption) is:

"I prefer to have many clothes in my closet, diversity stimulates my desire to build many outfits. When I get bored of a coat, I don't think about it - it was cheap, I take it out of the closet (throw it, donate it), a I can quickly replace it with an equally cheap one. Everything is a click away and I didn't expect it to last too long anyway. It's true that I only want to have quality clothes, made of natural fabrics, that fit better me, but I don't have the time/inclination to look for them or wait 4 weeks for them to be ready."

Questions to check your lens through which you relate to clothes, wardrobe and shopping are:
  • Do you think the same when you decide to buy a new phone, a new laptop, new appliances?
  • Do you have the same guidelines for the food you buy for your family or the cosmetics you use? Why do you expect clothes to deteriorate quickly?
  • Why do you expect everything to be a click away, delivered on the spot? When did you learn that this is the normal rhythm?
  • Have you explored the reasons why you are bored with one coat at a time, have you exhausted all its stylistic potential?
  • How would you feel if you could not replace that garment?

Once we clean and correct the lens through which we see clothes, we also understand that what the slow fashion niche offers cannot be reduced by price alone. Quality comes with durability and longevity , which means that said coat won't deteriorate and be replaced anytime soon.

The fast fashion industry will constantly stimulate us with novelties, with surprising trends, with the temptation of low prices, with that rapid pace of change that suggests that what we previously bought has become irrelevant, has expired, is out of date. Stylistically, the effect is the disappearance (or absence) of one's own style.

  • How do we arrive at a stable, coherent, clear and defined stylistic identity if we never stop to assess the big picture of our wardrobe?
  • How do we know which style represents us, if in the spring we buy bohemian, feminine, floral dresses, and in the fall we wear masculine outfits cut with geometric lines?
  • How do we learn to differentiate between what we like (and can buy on the spot) and what really suits us (but requires patience and moderation)?

From my perspective, anything is possible once we pause. A short break for (re)evaluation, reorientation, clarification.

We can find answers to questions that check our paradigm of relationship with shopping and clothes.

We can introduce small stylistically ethical gestures and actions , on a personal level, that require zero effort:

  • we no longer buy clothes for a single wear or occasion, but we ask ourselves if we will wear them at least 10 times in the next 3 months;
  • we build at least 5 outfits starting from each garment in the closet;
  • we take inventory of our wardrobes and note what we lack, and for these next purchases we promise to look for quality and only quality;
  • if we really want a new and beautiful coat, we explore local designers and invest in a Romanian creation.

To remember:

And if we really want to be selective, frugal and aware of our role in the fashion food chain, we stop shopping for a while.

Article written by our dear:
Irina Markovits
Clothing Consultant
Personal Stylist

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