Slow fashion is the holistic movement that reduces the need for fast fashion while promoting the recycle and reuse of clothing and footwear. Fast fashion is the design, manufacturing and marketing process of brand new garment production. The frequent purchases of fast fashion promotes materialism and a superficial lifestyle. Although new is good in theory, it is best when the quantities are sparse and small.
Slow fashion reduces the industrial process of apparel making and reduces the amount of cloth waste in landfills. The use of outsourcing and child labor is also reduced by the growing appeal for slow fashion. Clothing does not fully decompose and to burn all unused clothing would be detrimental to the ozone layer. Clothing in landfills also exerts the harmful greenhouse gas methane. Slow fashion provides the same name brands at a cheaper cost to the consumer while helping to slow down torturous labor and reduce the amount of waste on the planet.
Communications professor Bonnie MacDonald commented during a presentation of the same topic, "Fast fashion is trash fashion." The discussion that proceeded, led by Communications major Nick Bucci, analyzed fast fashion as “a process in which companies are mass producing non-durable clothing to keep up with trends.” The desire to keep up with trends ends up costing a consumer more money and the fashion industry more resources. Slow fashion encourages individuals to donate, repurpose, hand-down or customize their old clothes.
Local thrift shops typically produce products through direct donation, whereas big thrift companies such as Savers, Goodwill and Salvation Army purchase part of their products from local non-profits. Apparel donations to local nonprofit organizations, such as Big Sisters of Rhode Island, allow for big thrift companies to supply the funds needed for the organizations to stay up and running. Therefore, donations to a local drop box, a local nonprofit or a thrift store show the impact slow fashion has in helping the economy. Thrifting allows people to find novelty, retro and collectible items not normally found in modern trendy fashion.
Big thrift companies also help reduce cloth waste in landfills by sorting and sending out all unsold products to developing countries. Savers is an example of a slow fashion company that ships 700 million pounds unsold clothing and goods overseas for relief projects and developing markets. Slow fashion is ultimately the ethical choice, as this sustainable process focuses on quality resources having longevity and not being wasted. Slow fashion is a social awareness process that will always advocate for the planet and the people.