What is slow fashion?
Slow Fashion is a movement to promote the understanding of the fashion process and work to mitigate the negative effects of the commercial fashion industry. Slow Fashion promotes ethical and ecologically sound materials and labor practices, reduction of excessive consumption of clothing and accessories, creation of quality products that will last and maintenance of clothing to prolong their life and minimize their environmental footprint. There are many ways to participate in slow fashion, including making your own clothing, thinking critically about your consumption practices, and getting as much life out of each item as you can.
The textile industry is always developing new materials, some that are ecologically sound and others that are not. There is no perfect solution or way to clothe ourselves. Some may focus on natural fibers, but even then you’ll encounter shades of gray as you look into what is involved in growing or manufacturing these materials. Others may choose recycled synthetic or natural fibers as their most responsible option. This has its own positive and negative side effects.
At Bolt, we seek to encourage thoughtful and conscientious consumerism. We don’t want to just sell fabric. Instead, we want to support and promote your creative process and personal expression while also encouraging you to use up scraps or supplies you already have, rather than amassing more.
We are excited to have a space to share educational resources and information about events and businesses we consider doing good work in the world of fashion. We hope we all will seek out ways to reduce our ecological and social impacts and keep ourselves educated as to the developments in textiles and manufacturing. Fashion is fun and potentially one of the most personal art forms we can practice. We want to celebrate all that is wonderful about fashion and help you do so as well in the most responsible ways possible. Thank you for going on this journey with us!
Though there are no simple or sure answers or practices, here are some suggestions of ways we can move into a gentler, more responsible wardrobe:
- Define your style, so you hone your ability to make or purchase items you will enjoy for a long time.
- Learn to mend and embrace altered and reconstructed garments
- Appreciate the artistry of fashion
- Seek out well made garments that will last longer
- Acknowledge the labor conditions endured by those making our clothing
- Learn about the environmental impacts of different fibers and textiles
- Seek out designers and / or manufacturers who share your values
Slow Fashion Resources
We will be building out this part of our site and updating links to articles, events and businesses we find noteworthy. Please feel free to email us any suggestions you’d like us to consider.
Books & Reading
- Dress Code: The Naked Truth About Fashion, by Mari Grinde Arntzen
- Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline
- Fashion Made Fair by Ellen Kohrer and Magdalena Schaffrin
- Fashion is Spinach by Elizabeth Hawes
- Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change by Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grose
- The Worn Archive: A Fashion Journal About the Art, Ideas, and History of What we Wear by Serah-Marie McMahon
- Modified Style Portland Fashion Show, June 22, 2017
- Modified Style is a non-profit working to promote sustainable fashion. Learn more about MSP here.
Businesses Doing Good
- We will be working on compiling a list of designers and manufacturers practicing slow fashion in their work. Stay tuned!