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FA S H I O N Slow down

FA S H I O N Slow down IN AN EVER INCREASINGLY FAST-PACED WORLD, IT’S HIGH TIME WE SLOW DOWN AND TAKE A MORE ETHICAL, SUSTAINABLE APPROACH TO FASHION, SAYS AMY NORBURY DAME Vivienne Westwood summed it up perfectly back in 2017 when she stated consumers should “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Speaking backstage at her London Fashion Week Men’s show - where she paraded a circus-themed collection featuring recycled plastic bottles as shoes and aluminium cans pinned to tights as a campaign against fashion waste - the legendary designer urged the fashion industry to move away from producing so many cheap clothes, and for fashion fans to make more conscious decisions about the life cycle of their purchases. And so comes the rise of ‘slow fashion’. In a backlash against the rush of ‘fast fashion’ which has saturated our high streets thanks to budget retailers and expanding supermarket fashion aisles where you can pick up a whole new wardrobe alongside your weekly shop, more and more designers and brands are taking a good, hard look at their ethical credentials and working to provide consumers with an alternative way of thinking and shopping. As consumers are becoming ever more conscious about their ethical and environmental impact, it’s time to embrace a more sustainable approach to your wardrobe choices. In stark contrast to the high street’s disposable fashion ethos - with its ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ mantra - slow fashion is all about taking a long-term view; shopping sustainably, opting for quality over quantity and timeless pieces rather than transient trends. After all, if you invest in a high quality, well made classic winter coat which will last decades rather than buying cheaply every season for something which won’t last you the year, not only will your environmental impact be significantly less, but you’ll actually save money in the long run on a cost-perwear basis. Focusing on designing, producing, consuming and living better, slow fashion is a more sustainable approach by which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities and ecosystems. Set up in 1991 by social entrepreneur Safia Minney, BROOKLYN DENIM DUNGAREES, £119, PEOPLE TREE. WWW.PEOPLETREE.CO.UK 46

People Tree were pioneers of ethical and sustainable fashion, aiming to create stylish, innovative and affordable fashion while respecting people and the planet. Designer Stella McCartney made ethical fashion a pillar of her eponymous label long before sustainability became an industry buzzword, establishing herself as the go-to luxury label for environmentally-friendly fashion, while there are a whole host of sustainable fashion brands that produce high-quality, eco-friendly collections. Luxury shoe brand NAK - short for No Animals Killed - uses a vegan leather alternative and the traditional manufacturing methods the Italian shoe industry is famed for, to create classic but cruelty-free products, while London-based vegan bag company Fablou crafts affordable stylish bags ethically manufactured from super-soft silicone which are scuff, scratch and stain resistant and designed to last. And slow fashion doesn’t stop at the point of purchase. Since the concept is the antithesis of disposable fashion, you need to think about the life cycle of your garment once you’ve bought it. If you’re buying less in the first place - and only buying what you love - then you’re more likely to love and cherish each piece, and wanting to wear them more in the process. Take time to repair - rather than replace - damaged garments where you can, and if you decide you’re finished with something then donate or upcycle into something new, rather than sending it to landfill. So the next time you decide on a wardrobe update, take time and think slow to make that change. After all, a change will do you - and the planet - good. £325 BLACK STRAIGHT LEG JEANS, STELLA MCCARTNEY AT HARVEY NICHOLS NAK JACKIE STILETTO PUMPS, WWW.NAKFASHION.COM £200 £260 £995 PRINCE OF WALES CHECK WOOL BLAZER, STELLA MCCARTNEY AT HARVEY NICHOLS £70 CHELSEA BAG, FABLOU. WWW.FABLOU.COM SARAH SNEAKER, NAK BRIGITTA JUMPSUIT, £59.90, THOUGHT. V&A COSMIC PRINT SHIRT DRESS, £125, WWW.WEARETHOUGHT.COM PEOPLE TREE. 47


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