The Slow Clothing Movement

Have you ever seen a handmade dress or bonnet? Maybe you’ve perused Etsy looking for something unique that can’t be found in a retail store. Better yet, perhaps someone gifted you a gorgeous crocheted dress and booties for your newest addition! You might not yet have a name for this type of clothing, but we are here to let you in on the secret. All of these are known as the slow clothing movement.

As more and more retail stores lower their prices and ship their orders overseas to be made, it’s quickly becoming apparent that they’re cutting costs by hiring workers for pennies on the dollar. Honestly, most of us never think about how it’s possible to purchase a onesie for a dollar. Sadly, that’s because both the materials and labor are sourced very cheaply, and once you become aware of the pitfalls within the industry, it’s hard to ignore.

In addition to the issues of sourcing and payment, fast fashion is also awful for the ecosystem. From shipping on trains, planes, and boats to running large warehouses, it’s polluting our environment at an alarming rate.

Slow clothing has been around for centuries, but the movement itself is relatively new. There are a few basic premises to follow if you want to avoid fast fashion and join the slow clothing movement.

  • Buy to last.
    • One of the essential premises is purchasing for the long haul. When it comes to children’s clothing, this can mean buying durable clothes that wash well and last a long time, with high resale value.
  • Buy handmade.
    • While it’s possible to find some slow clothing companies that are managing to mass-produce kid’s clothing, it’s much better if you stick with handmade. Not only are you helping your local economy, but you’re sure to get the best quality.
  • Diversify your purchases.
    • Part of the slow clothing movement is doing your research and buying from various people. America is full of cultural diversity, and supporting black and brown-owned businesses should be part of your strategy.
  • Repair your children’s clothes.
    • If you’re savvy with a needle, instead of throwing a damaged item out, fix it if at all possible. If you prefer to outsource the repair, choose a small shop alterer. Many people throw away their daughter’s dress with an inch-long rip in the seam, but that’s counterintuitive when following the slow clothing movement.
  • Buy quality over quantity.
    • Once you begin to change the thinking around your shopping, you’ll realize that quality will last longer than quantity. You might not have seventeen examples of the latest fashions to dress your baby boy, but you’ll be making the world a better place.

Now that you know a bit about the slow clothing movement and why it started, consider joining a few groups on Facebook or following some Instagram hashtags. You’ll quickly find the best places to purchase and see what it’s all about!