Differences between the sustainable and fast fashion

“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.”

// Mahatma Gandhi /

// Mahatma Gandhi //

In the past few decades, sustainable fashion is an interchangeable part of the slow fashion movement which is used with eco-green and ethical fashion. In the 1960s, fashion sustainability began to emerge when consumers became aware of the environmental impact of clothing production and called on the industry to change its practices. Although eco-fashion was initially neglected, this changed in the 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of anti-ful campaigns and also with an interest in ethics in the late 1990s. Fair work conditions, sustainable business models, organic and environmentally friendly materials, certifications, and traceability are associated with ethical fashion.

Indeed, the differences between sustainable and fast fashion have not yet been properly distinguished, due to the fact that sustainable fashion is part of the slow fashion movement. Slow fashion is built on a core principle that focusing on sustainable values, including fair working conditions and the prevention of environmental impact. Interestingly, by breaking down the boundaries between organizations and stakeholders, slow fashion slows the production process to a more manageable timeframe, skipping the self-concept and empowering workers by offering a choice that enables change.


“Wear clothes that matter.”

  // Solitaire Townsend //

// Solitaire Townsend //

The original meaning of slow fashion highlights the values of sustainability and ethical behavior, yet media only appear to promote sustainable fashion as “less fast” garments, which is enhanced by the fact that only twice a year is generated by slow-fashion companies for Spring / Summer and Fall/Winter collections. While changes have already taken place, for example, the introduction of organic materials or the promotion of sustainable collections, “the mobilization of a sustainable fashion system remains both complex and difficult.”

Three of the main barriers to sustainable fashion mobilization include, firstly, transparency in the globalized supply chain; secondly, increased production and availability of clothing enhances fashion appetite; and, thirdly, demarcation of oneself from the other, which can be achieved through “greenization”. Sustainability, as a “megatrend,” has begun to be used in marketing campaigns with buzzwords such as eco-friendly, organic, or environmentally friendly. Undoubtedly, the communication of sustainability aspects is essential, particularly in the clothing manufacturing process, but more and more companies are engaged in greenwashing, which has been defined by many as misleading advertising of green credentials. Unfortunately, this indicates that, although the environmental performance of an organization is by far poor, its communication remains positive. This results in the mistrust of the customer, both in terms of sustainability and greenwashing, due to the fact that they are unable to verify the credibility of the organization’s claims and, in the end, to treat the whole concept with suspicion. Consequently, trustful relationships may emerge later, but take a long time to establish, foster, and maintain.

The Borw Team

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