Some themes • Problems of definition • How new a concept? • Class and slow fashion • Slow fashion and globalisation
Problems of definition • Tendency to define in terms of an antidote to ‘Fast Fashion’ • ‘Slow is not the opposite of fast – there is no dualism’ Kate Fletcher
Defining Slow fashion as the opposite of Fast Fashion • Overconsumption • High volume low price – impact on working conditions • Throwaway culture • Poor quality • Landfill • Landfill
Defining ‘Slow fashion is about designing, producing, consuming and living better. Slow fashion is not time based but quality based. Slow is not the opposite of fast – there is no dualism.’ Kate Fletcher So if it is not about speed should we call it slow?
How new is ‘slow fashion’ as a concept? • Historical concern about so-called slop shops • Rationing • ‘Make do and mend’
Charles Kingsley – Clothes – Cheap and Nasty ‘For at the honourable shops, the master deals directly with his workmen; while at the dishonourable ones, the greater part of the work, if not the whole, is let out to contractors, or middle men - "sweaters", as their victims significantly call them - who, in their turn, let it out again, sometimes to the workmen, sometimes to fresh middlemen; so that out of the price paid for labour on each article, not only the workmen, but the sweater, and perhaps the sweater's sweater, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth, have to draw their profit.’ (Kingsley, 1850: vii)
RationingOf Clothing, Cloth and FootwearFrom June, 1941 Rationing has been introduced not to deprive you of your real needs, but to make more certain that you get your share of the country's goods - to get fair shares with everybody else. When the shops re-open you will be able to buy cloth, clothes, footwear and knitting wool only if you bring your food ration book with you. The shopkeeper will detach the required number of coupons from the unused margarine page. Each margarine coupon counts as one coupon towards the purchase of clothing and footwear. You will have a total of 66 coupons to last you a year; so go sparingly. You can buy where you like and when you like without registering.
More recently: • Carlo Petrini 1986 - the slow food movement • Defends biodiversity • Opposes standardisation of taste • Promotes transparency for the consumer • Advocates protection of cultural identities connected with food
Class and Slow Fashion • Is it about "chic du chic“ – classic and timeless tailor made products for the select few who can afford it? • Pradamark – fashion for all? • Or doe we re-educate the masses to engage in ‘Investment Dressing’
Investment Dressing • Two key components - the Wardrobe Capsule. This is a grouping of clothes that can be mixed and matched and worn together with minimal effort : Gok’s Fashion Fix • Cost Per Wear. – calculating the relative cost of a purchased garment in relation to its quality, timelessness, and compatibility with other items in the capsule
Globalisation and Slow Fashion • Is it about fair trade - village based , hand work with natural dyes which maintain local traditions? • Or welcoming the shake out currently underway in which 12 million workers have a lost their jobs worldwide with a further 3 million expected to go through consolidation • How do we achieve slow production in global apparel supply chains under cu8rrent buying practices?
The Real challenge: • Making a shift from quantity to quality. • Allowing suppliers to plan orders , predict the numbers of workers needed and invest in the longer term. • Recognising that quality is going to cost more.
Principles of Slow Production: • Transparency • Simplicity • Changing Consciousness http://www.theworldinstituteofslowness.com/index.html