The Slow Fashion Movement & Building A Sustainable Wardrobe

 

 

 

Slow fashion is taking over the industry as we see more and more women choosing to purchase with a purpose. Slow fashion aims to squash mass manufacturing of low-quality items and replace them with long-lasting, high-quality pieces. The goal of the movement is to create a more ecologically responsible fashion industry. 

Today we’re discussing both fast fashion and slow fashion. What do these terms mean and what kick-started the slow fashion movement? We also cover what it takes for brands to create long-lasting, ethically-sourced women’s apparel.

What Is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion is the issue of mass-produced, low-quality clothing pieces that end up in landfills after limited use, or no use at all. It is also an issue of brands cutting corners by using cheaper fabrics and unethical practices to cut the production time and costs.

Fast fashion production practices are extremely harmful to the environment. This is due to:

  • Excessive use of water;
  • Factories emitting harmful greenhouse gases;
  • Plastic microfibers ending up in our oceans;
  • Excessive production and consumption of clothing that ends up in landfills.

The fashion industry is not typically the first you hear of when we discuss pollution and harmful manufacturing practices for our planet. But actually, apparel and footwear production currently accounts for 8.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or as much as the total climate impact of the entire European Union in 2018. 

Slow fashion brands aim to reverse this.

Trends Fuel Fast Fashion

Fast fashion relies on trends as short-lived as an Instagram story.

While we agree trends can be fun, we don’t recommend indulging in all of them. If you love certain trends try jumping on Facebook Marketplace or exploring your local second-hand shops first. 

What Is Slow Fashion?

Slow fashion is a sustainable solution to fast fashion.

Slow fashion brands ensure they are creating clothing with ethics and the environment at the forefront. At Pure Balanxed and like-minded brands, we source sustainable materials to lessen the impact on the environment. We also produce all our clothing in Canada, ensuring the highest labour and ethical standards are met.

The production of slow fashion clothing is transparent. You know what your clothing is made from, where the materials came from, and how it was manufactured. Slow fashion brands pride themselves on being environmentally, ethically, and socially responsible.

What Kick-Started the Slow Fashion Movement?

Slow fashion is a term first coined by author, design activist, and professor Kate Fletcher. She defines slow fashion as quality-based rather than time-based. 

Kate argues that fashion is surrounded by greed. 

“Short lead times and cheap clothes are only made possible by the exploitation of labor and natural resources.” 

In other words, brands want to make more money any way they can, cutting every corner possible and offering consumers low-quality items that were made unethically.

Slow fashion is about conscious, informed shopping. Ethical fashion is not only for the betterment of our environment but also our local economies. It also eliminates the opportunity for brands to exploit overseas workers.

Does Slow-Fashion Mean High-Quality?

Typically, yes. 

Slow fashion brands aim to produce clothes with trendless designs and premium, long-lasting quality. This usually means spending more time on the design process, ensuring that each piece of apparel is quality-made.

For example, at Pure Balanxed our designs are simple and well made. We carefully select our materials to ensure sustainability and quality.

We often use organic cotton, or Tencel™ to create pieces sturdy enough to weather wardrobe storms and gentle enough to keep the environmental impact low. We also love using a bamboo, cotton, and spandex blends in many of our items. This is because bamboo trees are fully sustainable, regenerate in 55 days, and are biodegradable.

We have a great working relationship with our manufacturer in Toronto that helps us make  top-quality, long-lasting pieces.

While doing these things might make our process take longer (and sometimes harder) than brands like Zara or H&M, it's worth it! We want the best for you and Mother Earth.

Does Sustainable & Ethically Made Fashion also Mean High-Quality?

Not necessarily. 

Some brands might focus on ethical manufacturing processes, and they might even use sustainable materials. But this does not mean the clothing will be high-quality and last you years and years. It really depends on the specific textiles used, and how the items are made. A t-shirt made from a sustainable fabric, but constructed poorly, will not last you.

When looking for high-quality, sustainable, and ethically produced products you have to do a bit of research. But it is all worth it! 

How to Support the Movement

Don’t go crazy and purchase a whole new wardrobe right away - this would be going directly against the slow fashion movement. The perfect place to start is by getting the most out of every item that is already in your closet.

Once you need a new item, this is when you can begin exploring all the different slow fashion brands out there. Shopping with a purpose can be just as fun as shopping for trends as there are more and more sustainable brands popping up all the time. 

Many who have adopted the slow fashion movement have also adopted a minimalist wardrobe. This means they have a smaller closet with fewer pieces, but all these pieces complement each other so you can mix and match to create a bunch of different outfits. 

If you’re looking for tips and tricks on managing a more minimalist closet there are so many bloggers and YouTuber’s offering ideas. 

Get Started With Staple Items

First things first, start purchasing your staple items. This can be different for each person but we recommend starting with these 5 items:

  1. T-shirt
  2. Tanktop
  3. Sweatsuit
  4. Jeans
  5. Dress

At least one of these 5 items will be worn daily. Once you need more sweaters in the winter or shorts in the summer you can begin building your wardrobe. There is something super satisfying about buying clothing you know will last a lifetime.

Shop Secondhand

This is the perfect way to give a piece of clothing a second chance. And contrary to popular belief, not all thrift stores are full of cheap, low-quality items. You can find real high-quality treasures in thrift stores, items that have lasted 30 years and can last you 30 more! 


We are living in the fast-fashion era, but it was not always like this. Vintage pieces might actually have more life left in them than items you’ll find in the mall.

Support Sustainably Made

If a brand is making purposeful, conscious decisions about how their clothes are made, then they are who we should be supporting with our money. We can use our purchases as a vote. We vote no more fast fashion, so we only buy from sustainable brands. This could help shift the market.

Many sustainable brands are local, so this can also help boost your local economy. For example here at Pure Balanxed, we do everything sustainably and locally. Supporting our brand means you’re supporting a woman entrepreneur as well as Canadian suppliers, manufacturers, delivery drivers, and more!

Do Your Research

Before you purchase a new item take the time to vet the brand and learn how they conduct business from start to finish. You can always email them and ask for more information. If they are an ethical, sustainable, high-quality brand they will love to answer your questions and boast about their products. 

Shop our range of sustainable, Canadian-made, ethically sourced women’s clothing. Pure Balanxed is a woman-made, woman-owned brand that believes every age, shape, and size of woman deserves to have a closet full of high-quality pieces that make her feel strong, worthy, and empowered.


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