Was ist Slow fashion ?
Zeitgeist Blog

What is slow fashion?

from {{ author }} Michel Oldehaver at Apr 28, 2022

What is slow fashion?

Good question - simple answer. The term "slow fashion" stands for sustainable fashion, and increased appreciation of clothing. (1) It describes the shift towards a more respectful attitude towards the environment and animals in relation to our consumption behaviour. In the Big Picture, the slow fashion movement strives for a changed awareness of products and production processes in the fashion industry.


Slow fashion - Away from much and entertaining

In a figurative sense, Slow Fashion means something like "deceleration", which translates as close to the German words Deceleration or slowing down. The production of clothing is generally more environmentally friendly than conventional clothing. Reasons include:
  • The raw materials used pollute less
  • Fair trade - without exploitation
  • Shorter production chain
  • More transparent processing
  • Decreased use of chemicals (3)

But slow fashion doesn't just refer to clothes made from organic and recycled materials. In addition, the term also includes the reuse of clothing in the form of second hand & vintage fashion. Throwing away items of clothing that have hardly been worn, as well as the resulting new purchase should be throttled. The lifespan of a garment is increased, which means that fewer garments are produced, which has a positive impact on the environment. (4)


Fast fashion vs Slow fashion

Fast Fashion - Today's fast-moving trends produce tomorrow's mountains of garbage

Fast fashion describes the section of the fashion industry that lives from changing fashion trends and short-lived goods. A lot, fast and cheap - with the focus on quantity, the fast fashion industry motivates overconsumption of textiles. The industry and the thought patterns associated with it lead to a heavy burden on the environment and unfair, exploitative working conditions for the workers involved in production. (5)

Slow-Fashion- Schilder

Fast fashion - Harmful to the environment from the cultivation of the materials to the sale

Pollution starts with the cultivation of the required materials, such as conventional cotton. Huge amounts of water are used in the cultivation and processing of conventional cotton. On average 11,000 liters are needed to produce a single t-shirt and the environmental impact is immense. With the cheaper and therefore increasingly popular alternative polyester, the CO₂ emissions produced are almost three times as high. (6)

In the case of organic cotton / Organic Cotton, which is mostly used by the slow fashion industry, the average water consumption is 6,700 liters. In addition, the environment is polluted by the increased use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. These have a strong impact on soil fertility, biodiversity and groundwater quality.(7)

In text factories, no savings are made on environmentally harmful chemicals during further processing. In 2015, over 70 chemicals that were harmful to health and the environment were found in textile factories - and the trend is rising. Textile factories are usually not exactly energy-efficient either. In fact, the opposite is largely the case. Outdated machines, most of which draw their energy from environmentally questionable coal-fired power plants, and wasteful energy management mean that textile factories leave a significant ecological footprint. (8)

Anyone who thinks that the damage to the environment will end when the product is finished is unfortunately wrong. Since the textiles are produced far away from the consumer market for cost reasons, they still have a little trip around the world ahead of them. With the help of trucks and container ships, the garments are transported from the production site to our stores. Due to the various manufacturing processes, a single piece of clothing travels up to 60,000 km. This produces a lot of carbon dioxide that is harmful to the climate. It would be more environmentally friendly to purchase locally produced products or to avoid buying new products that have a long transport route. (9)


Fast Fashion - Always “More” until there is no more sea

The world and its inhabitants want more and more - to a level that one earth alone cannot handle. With the help of fashion brands like H&M, Zara and Zalando, clothing production has more than doubled since 2000, with the world population “ only” increased by 20%. (10) (11)

Since 2014, far more than 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually, and the trend is rising. Calculated down, this means that every earthling buys about twelve pieces of clothing a year.

Germans buy around 60 pieces of clothing a year, but only wear them half as long as they did 15 years ago. Most Germans treat clothing as disposable. Approximately 5.5 billion items of clothing are hanging or lying in Germans' wardrobes. Approximately 40 percent of these are worn rarely or not at all. This is because a fashion trend older than 3 weeks is already labeled as old-fashioned. (12)

You've barely seen a look on a catwalk and days later you can buy a discounted version in the shopping mall. But until now there was a new fashion show and the piece of clothing you just bought is outdated again. That's why fast fashion giants like Zara or H&M offer up to 24 collections a year. Adorned with tasty discounts, this behavior tempts young people in particular to indulge in uncontrolled shopping smoke. In a society where you can't be stylish today by wearing yesterday's clothes, overconsumption is inevitable.


Slow Fashion - Definition & Goals

What does slow fashion mean?

Slow fashion, i.e. "slow" fashion, is the counterpart to fast fashion. It stands for climate-friendly fashion and treating clothing with respect.Mainly, the movement wants to positively influence the awareness of products and production processes in the fashion industry. The movement and the thinking associated with it benefit from the exponentially increasing interest of the world population to save our world instead of wiping it out forever. (13)

What is the goal of slow fashion?

The aim is to decelerate the fashion industry by optimizing the lifespan of a garment. Slow Fashion stands for quality and not for quantity. To achieve this goal, advocates of slow fashion used two different approaches. On the one hand, care is taken to produce only high-quality products using environmentally friendly raw materials. Which can then experience several life cycles as vintage or second-hand clothing. On the other hand, the movement tries to influence general consumer behavior. Away from a lot and entertaining, towards too little and lasting. (14)

Zeitgeist & Slow Fashion

Currently, second hand & vintage clothing is increasingly being bought in the small local shop next door. There's nothing wrong with that, but over the past few years and due to the pandemic, the fast fashion online shopping industry has exploded. As a result, more is produced, more is ordered, rated more than insufficient, more is sent back and ultimately more is thrown away by fashion giants like Zara or Zalando. No joke - since it is usually not worth sorting through and repackaging the clothing, it is simply disposed of. (15)

To counter this wasteful and polluting trend, an alternative is needed. Zeitgeist's goal is to create an online shop where our customers can enjoy the same convenience when shopping for slow fashion as they are used to from fast fashion. We are trying to reduce the environmentally harmful consequences of our Reduce clothing consumption as much as possible.

Even though we pay close attention to our environmental impact, Zeitgeist is not completely climate-neutral. The shipment of our products is almost emission-free thanks to the cooperation with DHL GO and the use of 90% recyclable cardboard boxes . But we are aware that some work processes, such as ironing the clothes, have a certain leave an ecological footprint. That's why we decided some time ago to donate 1 euro per order to climate-supporting foundations. What they are and what we are still doing to protect the environment as little as possible you can find out by clicking here.

Published by Michel Oldehaver

Written by Marvin Kless

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